Patch 5.4 - Flexible Raid Preview
Patch 5.4 will add a a new raid difficulty:

  • Bring anywhere from 10 to 25 people to your raid and the difficulty will automatically scale.
  • Works with battletags, so you can bring friends from other realms.
  • Item level of loot is between Raid Finder and Normal and loot is awarded with the Raid Finder style loot system.
  • Separate lockout from Raid Finder and Normal, allowing you to do all three difficulties.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Raids in World of Warcraft have a long history of not just challenging players, but changing and evolving as the years and expansions go by. As with everything in the game, we’re always thinking about what more we can bring to raiding to improve the experience for an even wider range of players. While Normal and Heroic Raids are a great fit for many, we feel there’s another gap worth filling—and to that end, we’re currently working on the development of a new type of Raid for the next major content update: Flexible Raiding.

One Size Does Not Fit All
While it’s impossible to fit every player into a neat, tidy archetype, we recognize that we could be providing a better experience to one broad category of raider: social groups comprised predominantly of friends and family, and smaller guilds that do their best to include as many members in their Raid outings possible.

During the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, the 10-player Normal difficulty served these groups of players pretty well, but the unification of 10-player and 25-player into a single difficulty effectively eliminated that niche. While Raid Finder mode is extremely accessible, it doesn’t provide smaller groups with a tight-knit social experience while progressing through the content. In Patch 5.4, we’re planning to introduce a new mode of raiding that allows us to deliver the sort of experience that we think these players are looking for.

To fill this void, we’re in the process of developing a new Flexible Raid system, which includes a new difficulty that sits between Raid Finder and Normal difficulty, while still allowing friends, family, or pick-up groups to play together. This difficulty will be available for premade groups of 10–25 players, including any number in between. That means whether you have 11, 14, or 23 friends available for a Raid, they’ll all be able to participate.

The Flexible Raid system is designed so that the challenge level will scale depending on how many players you have in the Raid. So if you switch between 14 players one week and 22 the next, the difficulty will adjust automatically. Keep in mind that unlike Raid Finder, no matchmaking is available, so you’ll need to make sure you invite people to attend—but if some can’t make it, it’s not the end of the world (or the Raid). You’ll also still be able to invite Real ID or friends cross-realm. Who you choose to bring and what Item Level gear they’ll need to join your merry band is up to you, too—there’s no Item Level requirement for this Raid difficulty.

Dressed to Kill
A new Raid difficulty also means a new Item Level. Flexible mode will award loot with an Item Level that falls between Raid Finder and Normal quality, and will use the Raid Finder’s “per person” loot system, specialization choices, and bonus rolls, so you won’t need to worry about bringing the “wrong” person and having them win that piece of gear you’ve long been waiting for.

You Have the Keys
We plan to unlock the Flexible Raid difficulty in wings, similar to Raid Finder, but on an accelerated timetable. This new difficulty also has a separate Raid lockout from Raid Finder and Normal difficulty, allowing you to take part in all three if you so desire. You’ll also be able to complete portions of your “Glory of the Orgrimmar Raider” raid meta- achievement in Flexible mode as well as in Normal or Heroic to earn cosmetic rewards such as an epic mount. This will allow Raid groups the opportunity to switch off nights between raids to complete achievements. Finally, taking part in Flexible, Normal, or Heroic difficulty will provide access to additional rewards that won’t be available in Raid Finder.

Getting Down to Brass Tacks
As with any in-development feature, we’re continuing to refine how the Flexible Raid system will work, and we look forward to hearing your constructive feedback from your experiences on the Public Test Realm when the new system goes live.
This article was originally published in forum thread: A Raid for All Seasons: Flexible Raid Preview started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 807 Comments
  1. Noqr's Avatar
    This is awesome!
  1. Baphomette's Avatar
    Very odd. At least they're admitting that Normal is too hard for normal people, but I don't know if this is the right solution.
  1. mmoc1e276f1977's Avatar
    This will be An interesting Development.
  1. Kelimbror's Avatar
    If you could bring less than 10 I would be incredibly interested. As it is this is a cool feature, but not for me. Very underwhelmed, but not because I was expecting something mind blowing.
  1. WaddlezSparx's Avatar

    Que Interesante
  1. Korthas's Avatar
    I was with them until they said it would drop a different iLvl gear than Normal.
  1. Therec's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kittyvicious View Post
    If you could bring less than 10 I would be incredibly interested. As it is this is a cool feature, but not for me. Very underwhelmed, but not because I was expecting something mind blowing.
    Yeah, luckily this doesn't affect heroic raiding at all. If getting more people to raid means that the dev teams will focus more on awesome raid content then I'm all for it.
  1. Atrea's Avatar
    Yeah, this sounds really cool, but I think having fewer than 10 (say, a minimum of 6 or 7?) would be a good addition to this.

    Sometimes having only 8 or 9 people to raid is the reason some raid groups fall apart.
  1. Ishayu's Avatar
    This is a pretty good idea but I can't help but feel it's accomplishing what LFR tried to accomplish but in a much better way. It's a great way for the PuGs and the social players to get to see the raid content.

    However, I think 4 difficulty levels is too many. This thing is like LFR but way better in every way. It has all the strengths of the accessibility - especially with it being "flexible and cross server". However, it also doesn't let people play like utter crap and escape all social responsibility.

    This is what LFR should have been, and I applaud it for that reason alone. LFR needs to be axed, though. It was pretty bad.
  1. Tehterokkar's Avatar
    Bravo Blizzard, this is just a fantastic solution for people that want more than LFR but can't commit enough for Normal. I hope it doesn't become too big of a deal for normal/heroic raiders to do each week though.

    I really like that you can in as a group of 15 or 20 now and still have a good time.
  1. Entbark's Avatar
    This sounds awesome!
  1. Alopex Major's Avatar
    Sounds awesome! I've been hoping for something like that.
  1. Tomservo's Avatar
    more choice, more gooder
  1. Uselessrouge's Avatar
    real question... can we do AV's in flex raids.. xD

    ON the other side well meh why not at least cross realm x)
  1. Baracuda's Avatar
    Knew it was something about raids...
  1. Drakoes's Avatar
    Nice one Blizzard!
  1. yunito's Avatar
    if this is the new big kind of disappointing..
  1. cynicalz's Avatar
    really hope this isnt the "feature"
  1. yunito's Avatar
    if this the new feature that was somewhat talk a bit disappointing
  1. Harmzuay's Avatar
    All they're doing is basically bringing back the Wrath raiding style with the item level being lower it is equivalent to the old 10 man raid in Wrath. They can keep the difficulty of 10 man Normals, so people don't bitch about nerfs, but they'll bitch about this too. Love the idea.

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