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Patch 5.4 Unannounced Features
Bashiok responded to a question about the unannounced feature today.

Flex Raiding Q&A
There are lots of discussions going about this new feature on the forums!
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Can I run a Flex raid with 10 rogues and zero healers and zero tanks?
It doesn't change the mechanics of what raids are, it's a variable difficulty that scales on the number of people you have. You'll still need tanks, you'll still need healers, and you'll still need DPS; the fundamental archetypes of the game aren't changing.

If your guild or group of friends isn't attempting raids now outside of LFR, you might have some roles you're not filling, but you certainly could get to that point. Certainly expect people to be building PUGs and such, but that's not really the intended target. The immediately intended target of Flex is to allow the more casual guilds that are already making small attempts at Normal (and probably hit a brick wall early on in ToT) to more easily get weekly groups together to have fun and progress on content that's more suited for their pace. They want to see the content, want some challenge in progressing, but aren't so hardcore as to be sitting people out or demanding requirements of those playing. Jump in and play the game with friends, have fun, low stress, Flex.

I hope it helps with reviving the pugging scene I met a lot of friends that way.
Absolutely. Just the process of people putting groups together for things and having that need for some coordination in the content, you end up seeing the same people over and over, make friends, and that in no small part helps to build long-term in-game relationships and feeds into healthy guilds.

So if a 10 man raid group thats casually doing Normal modes decides to do a flex raid, its just plain easier. no doubts there.

But if they bring their 10 man, and then 5 more healer friends, how does it scale? Just plain scaling of the bosses HP? wouldn't it mean those 5 other healer friends are kind of dead weight?

If you're thinking strictly in terms of "what is optimal for us to complete this content efficiently" then Flex is probably not targeted at you.

Balancing will come out during the PTR though, I don't think we'll get into how it'll scale too much before then. It'll err on the side of the group, and ensuring they can meaningfully progress in a reasonable amount of time.

But only 25m casual groups or 10m groups with large rosters, right? A small, casual 10m group that ends up missing people on a given night won't really be able to take advantage of the flex system to "just raid anyway" with their friends, which I think is a shame.

I'd love to see a little more flex allowing for maybe 8-28 raiders or something, so that 25m groups can also take advantage of the new flex raids to not have to bench friends, and 10m groups can worry less about having their raid night cancelled because of one or two missing raiders.

Raid mechanics start to break down when you go much below 10 players. There are still assumptions of having 2 tanks and 2 healers, and some mechanics are not really able to scale with much fewer DPS. Raids are still going to be raids, and raids are designed with some 'givens' to ensure the mechanics can be interesting, complex, and challenging.

But unlike Normal and Heroic, you CAN invite BattleTag/RealID friends to a Flex raid of the current tier, and so if you're short you can fill it out with people you know, instead of spamming chat to pick up randoms.

The designers are discussing allowing you to at least enter the raid with 8+ people. The intent would be to allow a group to start clearing trash while they wait for a couple stragglers, as the difficulty with less than 10 would still be scaled for 10. It could allow for skilled/geared players to do it with less than 10, but some mechanics just may not be possible as we're not designing for it.

Can they leave and have the raid automatically adjust on the fly? How about adding people after it starts?
Yes, and yes. It's dynamic.

How is it going to scale for healers? If I'm taking 17 players how will I know how many healers I will need?
You'll still want a standard raiding DPS/Healer ratio. It doesn't look at class or spec, it's purely scaling for number of players. It'll be up to the raid leader, and depending on gear and skill it'll be different for every group of people how much they can really deviate and how those deviations affect their rate of progression.

Again, it's going to be up to the PTR and seeing how testing progresses to determine how balancing shakes out and what's possible. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

We just made tech which could made life of 25-men a lot easier. Let's give it to LFR folks. -.-
This isn’t for LFR folks, it’s for Normal folks (ahem... you know what I mean) that were going into LFR and weren’t having an enjoyable raiding experience or that just wanted an easy way to play with friends and family without spending too much time organizing it. These players would go to LFR only for gear, not for the experience, and that’s not really what we want to see happening.

I’m hoping that players who are looking for more challenging content, but have no time to get into the usual guild raiding schedules, will start to switch from LFR to Flexible Raids.

Highly skilled players with heavy time constraints have always felt a bit left out from MMORPGs, but maybe there are ways we can deal with that.

Ideally, skill should be equally or even better rewarded than time, but there needs to be a balance between the two, we can’t provide 30 minutes of insanely difficult content with the best rewards that only 0.001% of the player base would be able reach, but we also can’t do the opposite and make rewards exclusively and directly proportional with time spent. Skill needs to enter into the equation and needs to have a pretty strong weight.

LFR still has its own place, some players are quite content with it, some have no intention of going any further than LFR in terms of raiding and are happy with the experience it provides. We’re just trying to provide content for everyone to enjoy.

This is just a preview, 5.4 isn’t even on the PTR yet, many things can still change. This is also part of the reason why we’re sharing this information with you all; the feedback we get will help us to better shape our next major content patch. I've already seen quite a few interesting and unexpected arguments in this thread and we'll share them with the devs, so keep it up!

With a new raid lockout things will indeed change (not for everyone, of course). If you want to stay ahead and on the top of your game, you'd want to run both the 5.4 LFR and LFR+ since they most likely will wield upgrades, whether it be because you want to mixmax for your normal/heroic raid progress or because you want to see your character evolve.
That’s a good point, I believe that a few players might do that for a little while, but I would like to point out that the unlocking of Flexible Raids and LFR are very similar but on different timetables, this will probably mean that normal and heroic will open first, then FR and then LFR.

So by the time LFR opens, chances are, there won’t be that many upgrades left for let’s say, a fully heroic equipped 5.3 raider, which is the typical player that usually tries to get upgrades wherever and whenever possible.

I think it's an amazing idea, but I would like to see it 8-25 or 5-25 if possible + make the loot the same ilvl as normal and make flexi and normal share the lockout, or even replace the whole normal with 8-25 mode.

If there are 11-12 one night, the guild has to decide to do the low ilvl with all players, or do the high ilvl but 1-2 are left out.. and i'm almost positive they will choose the higher ilvl.

Yes that will probably happen to some extent in some groups, but that will depend on how hard the content really turns out to be and the ilvl difference between those “extra” players and the rest.
So, yes, it’s possible that some groups form with the intent to be as efficient as possible, so those will only include the best geared players in the smallest possible group.

I don’t think we should worry too much about that to be honest, in the end it’s all up to whoever organizes the raid, and that has always been the case. I sincerely doubt that most groups will leave people behind just for a small difference in terms of item level. Besides, ilvl isn’t everything, every guild decides on whom to bring to the raids based on many different factors, gear is only one of them, there’s skill, there’s personality, there’s knowledge…

Then let us assign loot to players whilst doing it please. One of my initial thoughts about this was it would be a useful way to help undergeared (whether through bad luck, absence due to real-life, or because they are trailists that need a little boost in ilevel) team members improve their gear.

Then I read that this new difficulty would be using the current lfr loot roll system. This would be a hindrance to such help. It would be useful if this decision were reconsidered, so that raiding guilds could assign gear to members based on need for helping us progress through normal's and heroic's.

There's nothing that cannot be reconsidered and iterated before a patch goes live, we'll share your input about the loot system with the devs.

Sorry, but I don't see that the traditional loot distribution would work with flexible raid size. If they add brackets to how many items drop based in a fixed amount of people (ie 2 with 10, 3 with 15, 4 with 20, 5 with 25) people would just pick enough people to reach that.
That’s a very good point; I assume that's probably the reason why this loot system was chosen in the first place. But like I said, everything is still subject to change, devs sometimes like to surprise us with unexpected solutions. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Titan Runestone Drop Rate
Can you clarify, are you still limited to one runestone total from as many Lei Shen's you kill per week? (one normal/heroic and as many lfrs as you can stomach)
Each character has always had one chance off an eligible boss (regardless of difficulty mode) per week for the Legendary quest drop.

Does that mean, if i do LFR and then raid with my guild i can have a chance off LFR and normal/heroic mode too?
If you have already defeated Lei Shen on Normal difficulty that week, you would not get an additional chance by defeating him on Raid Finder.

Is the chance of a runestone droping the same regaurdless of if you kill the boss first in LFR, Normal, or Heroic Mode?
The chance is the same regardless of difficulty/mode.

I don't believe this is true. It may be for Titan Runestones, but for the Secrets of the Empire, my guildies got them at roughly 4x the LFR rate from normal mode. To be more specific, a couple of them finished this step in half the time I did, despite starting later, only doing the first 4-6 bosses in normal mode, and never doing LFR. (I did every boss in LFR every week and very rarely did anything on normal).
The chance is random but remains the same across different difficulties. Your guildmates just happen to encounter a streak of good luck while running Normal difficulty.

The guaranteed drop from Lei Shen is meant to be an upper cap for players that experience a streak of bad luck. The discussion seems to be if this upper cap is still too long. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

PvP Item Level Cap Increase
Blizzard are trying to remove the fact that gear is needed to do arena so ye i dont think they will increase the ilvl cap in arenas.
No, we still want gear to matter in PvP to allow for a sense of power progression, but we simply didn't like that it was such a large factor in player victories previously. We will be increasing the cap in patch 5.4 for the next season, however we don't want to have the Ilvl cap suddenly jump up instantly to ensure that those with high Ilvl PvE gear don't suddenly out gear those in PvP gear, but rather everyone's Ilvl will increase together. We will try to share more about this as soon as we have more information on it for you. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Diablo III – Coming September 3 to Xbox 360 & PS3
If you are interested in Diablo, be sure to read the message from the new game director!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
On September 3, evil will be reborn on console systems throughout the world with the release of Diablo® III on the PlayStation™ 3 and Xbox 360® games and entertainment system from Microsoft. That's right, Diablo III will be unleashing hell on both Xbox 360 and PS3™ before summer's end, so lock in your preorders with your local retailer soon.

As an added bonus, all preorders of the Xbox 360 and PS3™ versions of Diablo III will include the exclusive Infernal Helm (in-game item only. . .though we have to admit it'd look pretty sharp IRL). Wearable at level 1, the Infernal Helm confers a +EXP bonus to help you whip your new PlayStation™ or Xbox® characters into shape. Plus, it looks sweet as hell on all five mortal heroes of Sanctuary—be it the Witch Doctor, Barbarian, Wizard, Demon Hunter, or Monk. Keep in mind that the redeemable key for the Infernal Helm, which you will find in your preordered console copy of Diablo III on launch day, requires an Internet connection to be redeemed and cannot be transferred across platforms.

Be sure to get your preorder lined up for the PS3™ or Xbox 360 versions of the game and prepare your thumbs to do battle against the sinister forces of the Burning Hells.

Please note that as the Xbox 360 version of Diablo III was announced today, it may take retailers several days to set up their product pages for this new version of the game. Be sure to check back if you don’t see Diablo III for Xbox 360 listed on retailers' websites.

TCG Art Update
Blizzard updated the Trading Card Game art gallery to feature ten new pieces.

This article was originally published in forum thread: Patch 5.4 Unannounced Features, Flex Raiding Q&A, Blue Posts, D3 on Consoles, TCG Art started by chaud View original post
Comments 76 Comments
  1. ZeroWashu's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gotai View Post
    Curious to see how the flex raids work out, means no more benching!

    And I want D3 for PS3 out already!
    Flex raids might have preserved quite a few guilds that came apart after Cata launched. Ours simply could not field the 25 man and we had issues with who got to go which led to angst we never were ready to deal with
  1. Rocheku's Avatar
    The problem i have with flexible raiding is that they simply should have applied this tech to the current normal and heroic difficulty.
    Instead they use it to cloak the retarded decision to introduce yet another level of difficulty for the people that hardly perform in LFR and get carried and suddenly have not a single clue in normal.

    Just a desperate and sneaky measure to prevent sub loss.
  1. Bobisadrummer's Avatar
    What's a standard Healer to DPS ratio?
  1. VanishO2's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroWashu View Post
    Flex raids might have preserved quite a few guilds that came apart after Cata launched. Ours simply could not field the 25 man and we had issues with who got to go which led to angst we never were ready to deal with
    Don't think so, since it will allow realid invites for current tier for example. It would probably just speed it up. See how many are asking for less than 10?

    Of course ppl are asking for less than 10 thinking about getting it even easier and also about a way to hoard more loot (that's why they're also asking for normal loot system instead of LFR loot system). Even asking for the same ilvl as normal mode, alread knowing that easier mode (please, don't use "content", there is only ONE content with 4 diferent modes now) should never drop the same "reward" as a harder mode. They alread let you pick legendary quest itens from LFR (wich will award you with the same reward a heroic player will have) and a few other things.

    Shame that Blizzard just admited that not only flex will be waaaay easier than normal ("Jump in and play the game with friends, have fun, low stress, Flex." that was their marketing for LFR, except the "friend" part), but it will be kinda of mandatory to players who target normal/heroic progression as they alread say there will be upgrades (since the ilvl will probably be close enough to normal mode), but they hope that by releasing normal/heroic mode 1st, and flex/lfr later, this will fix it...

    Never fixed, because as they've alread said plenty of times: "pve isn't that generous" in giving loot (for pvp players saying it would be faster to just raid instead of farm honor/conquest). Plus, they won't hold flex/lfr for the time needed for it to really make a diference (a month or more, that time frame would wield enough time for a good amount of the player base to progress trough normal and get some upgrades to render flex/lfr useless). They need to release flex/lfr mode asap or it would just be useless for the reason they want it to exist. Can you imagine the outcry of ppl having to wait so much to start the new content?
  1. FireBorne's Avatar
    Seems kinda stupid, if you have 16 ppl but can't bring the 17th that is a dps because you will need a healer because of the healer to dps ratio( whatever that is).
  1. sweep71's Avatar
    LFR is going to be a scary place after this is implemented. All the people who carried in LFR will migrate to flex and call it good. I know I will never go back into LFR since between my normal 10 man team and flex raiding would be about my limit I could possibly do in a week. It is nice for me honestly, since I would probably only make the flex team 1/3rd of the time. I have read a lot of people who do not like the idea, but it gets me out of LFR when I have time for extra raiding. Anything that gets me out of LFR works for me.
  1. Schaapa's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by FireBorne View Post
    Seems kinda stupid, if you have 16 ppl but can't bring the 17th that is a dps because you will need a healer because of the healer to dps ratio( whatever that is).
    No, it's up to you to decide how many healers and dps you want.
  1. Torais's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shadee View Post
    I like how they are down playing the new feature now cause everyone hates it.
    That would be the most likely reasoning. They have been literally saying for months how this BIG FEATURE will change how we play WoW and how EXCITING it will be once 5.4 hits. Now they are backing up so hard you can hear the reverse warning beeps in every recent statement.

    I mean I don't give a damn about flex raiding but it isn't that bad of a change. I just don't think what it adds is worth the effort invested in to it nor the hype GC and friends have been spouting. It perplexes me how any of them thought we would be nearly as excited about it as they seemed to think.
  1. slime's Avatar
    Well shit... after the most long-winded explaination ever, they basically are giving us back a second REAL raiding lockout per week - so i'm definitely down. Might even be better than a 10 / 25 lock out, this will be a 10 / whatever size you want lock out. Not very exciting "game feature" - but I'll take it because with what they leaned towards in adding content to MoP I expected something completely worthless and mini-gamish.
  1. Madcloud's Avatar
    A blue response "this isn't for LFR folks it's for normal folks" is said in one of those sentences.... why is there this need to "label" everyone in the game. it's kind of getting a bit ridiculous a this point. what happened to play a game because it's fun?
  1. Oziriz's Avatar
    I wonder if flex raiding was originally intended to fit into the current normal/heroic raids but figured it would be too much of a "risk" and make yet another lockout to test it out...
  1. Finear's Avatar
    Sun Eater <3
  1. zaneosak's Avatar
    You know, all this run around the question shit is so fuckin OLD. All Bashiok has to say is "yes it was the feature ghostcrawler was originally referring to" or "no, it's something else" and people would respect the blue's alot more. This dodge the question shit is so insulting. Just because Ghostcrawler misspoke he can't swallow his pride and say I made a mistake wording things like I did? These guys are the biggest gaping vagina's in the the world.

    ---------- Post added 2013-06-08 at 01:44 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Durandro View Post
    No, its for guilds with unstable rosters. i.e. Every single non-hardcore guild. i.e. The majority.

    Please, keep whining and saying how manditory it is to get sub-normal ilevel gear. Its amusing. Especially considering many of these comments are from people who whined that 10 and 25 man are on seperate lockouts.
    Oh look another unique LFR snowflake that has no idea why the top guilds run LFR to fill in gear gaps. If you want to compete it is absolutely necessary to get the best gear available. LFR gives you another place to get 4 set bonuses and trinkets. Alot of trinkets are better procs even at the non normal/heroic level than previous tier. Get it now? The fact that people don't get this and blizzard ignores it is unbelievable.
  1. Weatherwax's Avatar
    Oh look another unique LFR snowflake that has no idea why the top guilds run LFR to fill in gear gaps.

    Top guilds don't whine and cry about other people seeing content.

    Top guilds don't whine and cry about new raid lockout options - because THEY WANT TO AND LIKE TO RAID OFTEN.

    Only stupid people who hardly ever see a heroic boss whine and cry and feel entitled to be shitty to other people.
  1. Eclypse's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Schaapa View Post
    No, it's up to you to decide how many healers and dps you want.
    Not really... they still don't want to go into details about it, but it's obvious from what they said several times, that the dps/healer ratio will be quite strict. So the whole "flex" thing is not as flex as most may think.
  1. Worgoblin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Weatherwax View Post

    Top guilds don't whine and cry about other people seeing content.

    Top guilds don't whine and cry about new raid lockout options - because THEY WANT TO AND LIKE TO RAID OFTEN.

    Only stupid people who hardly ever see a heroic boss whine and cry and feel entitled to be shitty to other people.
    I like you. You tell it like it is

    Seriously, I cannot understand the whining. Flex raiding is gonna be such an amazing addition for casual raiding guilds and Puggers.
  1. SinR's Avatar
    I love how they were sitting there hyping up Flex Raids in 5.1 (or maybe 5.2) as the BIG HUGE UNANNOUNCED FEATURE THAT WILL CHANGE THE GAME FOREVER... then I think they came to the realization that not everyone wants another raid difficulty, so they tried to talk it down for the last week.

    Now they're like "oh yeah, the entire 5.4 patch is game changing"
  1. Alopex Major's Avatar
    I don't hate it, though I do wish it could scale down to 8 or so -- I think that would really help the guilds struggling to fill rosters.
  1. Grevie's Avatar

    Top guilds don't whine and cry about other people seeing content.

    Top guilds don't whine and cry about new raid lockout options - because THEY WANT TO AND LIKE TO RAID OFTEN.

    Only stupid people who hardly ever see a heroic boss whine and cry and feel entitled to be shitty to other people.
    Pretty much, THIS. You got it clear Wheaterwax.
  1. CanceledAccount's Avatar
    Really really unfortunate that battlenet-id will only work for flex raids and not for 10 and 25-man.
    Oh well one step at a time.

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