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 815 Comments
  1. Axefresh's Avatar
    I had an idea for something like this a lil while ago. Since the rares on isle scale up and down depending on how many were there, so would a raid... and what do you know blizz had the same idea. Now all I want is stat scaling for old raids to make them challenging again.
  1. mikeakanice's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mikeakanice View Post
    Actually ghostcrawler said a while back it would be game changing. I'll find the quote.
    Meh, I can't find it so maybe I'm wrong. I could have sworn it was said though.
  1. jay808's Avatar
    I think its a good thing but honestly I would have found it more appealing to me and my RL friends if it started from 6+ rather than 10+. It would be nice to do raids with 5 other friends and not have to deal with inviting randoms in.
  1. Entrophius's Avatar
    So more or less like big heroic scenarios in some aspects (failbags, higher iLvl than raid finder), but with some actual tactic and role requirements, guess that's ok for those who missed the old wrath raiding, yet I don't think more failbags per week will be all that interesting.
  1. Lulleh's Avatar
    Good idea, wont hurt anyone. But "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." Really? Just sell the glory mounts on the blizz store then and make some cash while at it, and why not sell the glory achievements too? Even better, let players sell their achievements on some real money auction house, I'd be a millionaire!
  1. Zubacz's Avatar
    As long as it's the same lockout as normal and heroic, it could provide the progression path from a beginner player to a normal raider. Unless you can finish normal modes in this difficulty, none of the players doing this will advance to normals, though.
  1. Libertarian's Avatar
    Inb4 gear score addon returns in its full gory
  1. Clockwork Pinkie's Avatar
    Nice idea, terrible inception, 5+ players is flexible, not 10+. (Yea yea people will always find a way to bitch). Also the difficulty should be the same as normal mode, just because its flexible, does this mean people don't want a challenge? I'm sure that's not the case.
  1. Agrias2x's Avatar
    yawn, another lockout >_< this sounds like rubbish sorry, to fix mechanic between 10 and 25 ppl on top of Normal and HC, it may mean bosses ll be dumbed down badly overall and poorly balanced. I liked Vanilla and TBC style raids way more. Ulduar had good idea which I liked to activate HC. I dont think this flex mechanic is a good idea at all, it will end up quantity over quality.
  1. IRunSoFarAway's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Luccas View Post
    I can't see how they plan on balancing something like that between all possible sizes.
    I would guess a horrible generic % increase to damage/health per player.

    What a major waste of development time, this causes more problems than it solves.
  1. VanishO2's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Animaneth View Post
    well it says part of your glory achievements, and those (since the introduction of hard modes / heroic modes) require heroic kills. So still you might manage to get some of those achievements but probably not all.
    And by removing those heroic kills, you will see that it isn't a lot of achievements, part of that would be... well... almost everything or ppl will complain that it is not enough for flex raiders

    So, probably extra achievements... that we can hope, will be able to be done in normal/heroic instead of also running "flex" only for that.
  1. Alyusha's Avatar
    Idk I think Blizzard just needs to admit that they messed up and go back to the old 25 & 10 man lock out, I use to love raiding with my guilds 25 man and then going out and doing a 10 man with my friend's guild. This is a good step but I don't think it is the right one.
  1. Wondercrab's Avatar
    Sounds neato! This is definitely a niche that needs filling, and more options is never a bad thing.
  1. SodiumChloride's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by VanishO2 View Post
    Lame excuse for the lack of argument. Sry.

    When you're talking about defeating a boss, even gear matters. Sry.

    Any gear upgrade is welcome, anytime.

    Again, gap between LFR and Normal gear was increased for a reason. They didn't come with that out of nowhere (like your argument).

    Even the best guilds in the world, that you for sure can't even get closer in "talents" did runs of LFR to get any kind of advantage they could.

    Will you say that they don't have talent?

    Anyway, try again later troll.
    I'm just saying it's your choice to do LFR. You don't have to. Blizzard doesn't required you too. LFR isn't part of the "progression".

    You choose to do LFR, choose to cheese the fights. That's your choice to "cheat". This is fact.

    PS: Gear gap between normal and LFR ... won't be surprise they increased it because Flex was already in the pipeline when they start itemising ToT.

    Edit: Also suggesting, that if you have so much trouble in normal that you have to resort to "cheating" - then whine about how much work is required to to "cheat" LOL. Just do Flex then. It's a game. Why kill yourself over it?

    Oh, and please don't compare yourself with top guilds who are trying to get world 1st heroic kills. They clear raids while being severely undergeared. Those guys entered 5.0 heroic raids in blues.

    ---------- Post added 2013-06-07 at 02:18 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Libertarian View Post
    Inb4 gear score addon returns in its full gory
  1. VanishO2's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Luccas View Post
    I can't see how they plan on balancing something like that between all possible sizes.
    If their new rare mob system is to be taken into consideration...

    Looks like it will just be LFR with the same system + Isle of thunder rare mob system: almost ignored mechanics + "more players, more HP".
  1. Shardik's Avatar
    Maybe they'll tune it all the way up to 40, for massive raiding.
  1. NightmareGER's Avatar
    And what about if you can't bring 10 ppl? what if you can only bring 7,8 or 9?
  1. adrii021's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by xerus View Post
    Or you could try again and learn to read.
    yeap sry tired eyes misread removing heroic haha.

    Im all for your idea in both modes tho
  1. Snes's Avatar
    Seems like another thing they will need to spend a lot of development time balancing every single patch.
  1. Hentai-san's Avatar
    Now this is what I was waiting for, it looks like I'll finally be able to raid again. Now, is this the feature everyone has been talking about? Maybe, but I am happy, so couldn't care less.

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