We are working hard to introduce an exciting new feature to World of Warcraft in patch 4.3: the Raid Finder system. While it presents unprecedented technical hurdles and may change before it’s released, we wanted to provide you with an early look at what we hope to accomplish, and share some details that we’ve worked out, which will lend some insight as to how the new feature is planned to work.
So what is the Raid Finder? It will be a brand new grouping feature that superficially works much like the Dungeon Finder. Instead of five-player dungeons, the Raid Finder is designed to help players quickly and easily form a pick-up raid for a specially tuned version of the current tier of raid content: the Dragon Soul raid. It’s not intended to replace organized raiding though. You’ll still need friends and guild members to help you conquer the toughest raiding challenges that patch 4.3 has to offer.
As we currently plan to roll out the Raid Finder feature in patch 4.3, level-85 players will be able to use it to access a 25-player version of the Dragon Soul raid dungeon, which will culminate in a glorious battle against Deathwing himself. Dragon Soul will be split into three different difficulties. The Raid Finder provides access to a new tier of difficulty, which in this case has split the raid into two wings, each containing four boss encounters. Meanwhile, raiders will still need to join with friends and guildmates to face the more challenging normal and heroic versions of the raid, since the Raid Finder cannot be used to access those higher difficulty levels. Naturally, because they’re harder to defeat, the normal and heroic version of Dragon Soul will drop more powerful lootalong with prestigious rewards such as achievements, titles, and epic mounts. Rich rewards still await those who face the Raid Finder version, which we hope will introduce the thrills and epic experience of raiding to a broader audience than ever before.
You can access the Raid Finder through the ‘Raid’ button in the menu at the bottom of the default user interface. The Raid Finder should feel familiar to Dungeon Finder users. Just fire it up, select your class role, click the ‘Find Raid’ button, and get ready to face Deathwing’s jaw of doom.
Q. Raids aren’t dungeons. Who will keep things organized?
A. A Raid Finder raid will require someone to queue as leader. The Raid Finder leader will have a very limited set of powers and cannot change loot type, nor do they have the ability to arbitrarily kick people from the raid. They do have the ability to mark targets and use /raid warning, and can promote other players to be leads as well. To be most successful, each Raid Finder group should have at least one leader who will explain the fights, assign raid markers, and make the tough calls, like who the main tank and off-tanks are.
Q. How will loot be distributed?
A. Automatic rolls and the Need Before Greed loot rules will apply in Raid Finder raids, just as they do in Dungeon Finder instances. Also, while Dungeon Finder raids aren’t locked, you are only eligible for loot from a boss once per week. This means that if you were present for the defeat of a boss, whether you receive loot or not, then you will automatically pass on loot that drops during later attempts on that boss during the same week.
Q. How will Raid Finder loot differ?
A. Loot acquired through the Raid Finder, including tier set pieces, will be of a lower item level than items acquired from normal or heroic mode versions of the Dragon Soul raid, and its appearance may differ. Also, there are certain items, as well as components for legendary weapons, which will not drop in Raid Finder raids. While individual bosses will not yield Valor Points as they would in other versions of the raid, you can still earn 250 Valor Points for beating the final boss in each wing of the instance.
Tier armor that drops in Raid Finder raids still provides set bonuses, and those bonuses are compatible with the higher item level versions of the armor available in the normal and heroic mode versions of the raid. None of these tier sets will be available for purchase from a vendor via Valor Points.
Q. Will there be an item level requirement to use the Raid Finder?
A. Yes, accessing raids via the Raid Finder will require that participating characters be level 85 and have attained a certain item level, to help ensure that they are prepared for the content they’ll be facing.
Q. Will the Raid Finder be cross-realm?
A. Yes, the Raid Finder will draw players from all realms. As with the Dungeon Finder, it will place some priority on grouping players from the same realm, though not at the cost of increased queue times.
Q. What kind of raid composition will the Raid Finder create?
A. Each Raid Finder raid will include two tanks, six healers, and seventeen damage dealers. As the raid is assembled, the Raid Finder will attempt to balance the group according to armor type, which should help ensure a healthy mix of melee and ranged dps.
Q. Why 25-player only?
A. A 25-player group is actually easier and faster to fill than a smaller group would be, and allows for greater flexibility in raid creation, all of which will help contribute to lower queue times. Also, 25-player raids are less subject to issues with composition or player connectivity.
The Raid Finder version of the Dragon Soul raid will be designed with pick-up raiding in mind. Normal and heroic difficulties will require the greater organization and teamwork found in guild raid groups.
Q. Will I get Call to Arms benefits when using the Raid Finder?
A. We don’t currently plan to apply Call to Arms benefits to the Raid Finder, though that may change in the future.
Q. Will I be locked to a raid I join through the Raid Finder?
A. Since the Raid Finder only offers access exclusively to a specially tuned version of the Dragon Soul raid instance, instance locks will not be enforced for that version. Instance locks will still be enforced for the normal and heroic versions of the raid.
Q. Can I queue with my friends in a party or raid?
A. Yes, you can queue for the Raid Finder individually, in a party, or in a raid. The Raid Finder can be a great tool to help fill those last few slots in a raid.
Q. I’m a dedicated raider with an organized group, what good is the Raid Finder to me?
A. Since instance locks aren’t in play, Raid Finder raids could provide a way for dedicated raiders to gear up alternate characters, fill gaps in their itemization, finish off elusive set bonuses, or just have some fun while preparing to face the normal or heroic version of the raid on the next reset.
Q. Why aren’t other raids available?
A. The Raid Finder is intended to help players experience the current tier of content.Also, many older raids don’t require a full complement of raiders, making the Raid Finder unnecessary. This is also the first rollout of the feature and we decided to start things simple, rather than potentially delay the feature’s introduction.
If the Raid Finder proves popular, more raid instances may be added to it in the future.
Q. Will Vote Kick still work in the Raid Finder?
A. Yes, though many of the same requirements and restrictions will be in place. For example, kicking too many times can result in a Vote Kick cooldown. Also, the thresholds are different, and several players will need to agree on kicking a candidate before the vote begins. Successful kick votes will require a significant number of Yes votes to pass.
Q. What happens if I leave a Raid Finder raid before it’s over?
A. Players who leave the Raid prematurely will receive a Deserter Debuff, though it will likely be of longer duration than the one applied to users of the Dungeon Finder. This debuff will only apply to the Raid Finder system.
Penalizing you over something you don't have control over (when abused) would generate even more QQ, trust me.Furthermore, there can be cases where dropping the raid and requeue even with the debuff can take less time than finishing the raid to the last boss. In my opinion, they are making the LFR tool as equal as possible to an organized raid group in terms of loot rules. They just don't want entire premades using this as a cheap way to gear up before trying actual normal content. From my point of view, you shouldn't view this as a way to gear up but as a chance to get to know the fight mechanics before trying it with an actual group, or as a chance to see actual content because you don't expect to get into one soon, and take the loot as a bonus. If you want to gear up fast, there are the new heroics that should give comparable ilvl gear and valor points, and take significantly less time to complete.
This might make me resubscribe. At least I could play something other than my holy paladin without 'playing' being a half hour in world of queuecraft while scanning trade for a group that needs melee dps.Then again, maybe not. One dumbed-down raid is not an awful lot of reason to resubscribe.
Love it. Lesser quality loot to avoid the normal raid gear from being less special while still allowing casuals such as myself (lack of time these days FTL) to see the content.
ahh nvm. not worth my time and energy.
Hmmmm....On paper,this has a lot of pro's, most notably that you can just queue into a raid on your hunter alt, which is next to impossible to get when you lack the achievements on that toon, and your main is already saved up anyway.I am very intrigued by the "loot once" rule. So you would LIKE to run this late in the week, when its very possible that the other 2 with your class and spec have already downed the boss and cannot compete with you... but then you might end up running this on Sunday evening with a bunch of alts and new 85's that have gamed the iLvl requirement just to get in, and you cannot kill a damn thing....The real main help I can see is a guild getting numbers of boss kills available after their main raid locks out, so they can, in turn, bring 2-3 alts in and allow them to glom up all the gear and justice points, or what all.That isn't the goal here though, so I would imagine that if this goes live in.... say December... then by February 1, there will be a significant relaxing of the loot rules.