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.
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 Battle.net 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.
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.
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.
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.
With the quest every week of the barrens, you can have a 489 set, why add a ilvl between normal and LFR (between 463 and 486 ?).I'd personnally prefer actual 25 man raids with that flexible difficulty so it can be done with 11, 14 or 23 friends.
So they didn't like that people were doing both 10man and 25man in ICC, hence the shared lockout, but now, during progression, there's LFR, Flex, and Normal/Heroic to run for loot?
I think this is a good move1. Brings back a bit of the realm-social aspect when forming pugs with people from your own realm2. Removes loot drama that is sometimes associated with PUGs3. Flexible means you can go with whatever you got...10M guilds won´t have to sit anyone.4. Gives 10M guilds a way to build to 25M content.Negatives1. wanna-be hardcore people will complain about being forced to do another lockout.My only thought is they should do away with normal modes and use this instead as the default. It will also be interesting to see how they handle healers, it could be one of those things were atonement priests really shine from 13-19 person raids where there aren´t obvious break points on how many healers you need.
WAAAAAAAAAAAAH /cry /throw fitwhatever, they gutted pvp im GLAD to see they are gutting pve too
How will this work out?If you have 11 players is there just more damage for one healer or faster enragers for an extra dps in the raid?Sounds like a completely useless feature, raiding was never meant to be available for absolutely everyone.
Personally my favourite part of this announcement is the implication that I'm not going to have to wait until 6.0 for Tier 16 to go cross-realm so I can actually have a shot at the meta for whatever mount will be awarded.I play on Terenas EU, in a guild with friends. They are awful raiders, and I don't feel I should be shafted in this regard for wanting to remain sociable. PuGs simply do not exist on my realm Horde-side; not for Tier 14, and certainly not for ToT. I use Openraid to do Normal content cross-realm, and were it not for the fact that ToT's meta mount is just plain unattractive, I'd be protesting outside Blizzard's offices right now.
Interesting! I'm sure there will be many mixed opinions on this, but I'm quite looking forward to it.
So... now we have to do LFR, Normals AND Flexibles to get geared? Great, cause it's not like I felt I had to raid all the freaking time before...
what a brainfart from blizzbiggest issue I have with this is:
i love the idea but i think that the raid needs to be in one part instead of wings and that the ilvl needs to be between normal and heroic, if not no one will want to do it.
Or, you know, they could just remove the shared lockout for 10 man and 25 man that they introduced at the end of LK that just happened to coincide with the first exodus from WoW. That would be fine, too.
I like this feature....Social guilds will love it...
Odd feature after the repetitive 'remove LFR' requests, I don't know if Blizz can make this work. Boss designs are supposed to be fine tuned for 4 difficulties already (plus LFR), I doubt scaling will work as expected. IMO redesigning the whole loot/drop system would be top prio (no coins, no 'bad luck', nothing). Always fix what's beneath first
This seems pretty bad. Raiding is supposed to be a progression - not my newly minted 425 90 doing ToT with "flex raid" and potentially ending up getting better loot than LFR. They dumb and water the game down every chance they get. This is just like the "legendary" quests.
Why can't they say specifically if this is for the 5.4 T16 raid only? Or is it?BTW, one can experience the scaling right now in doing the Barren's Commanders. Those guys start at 16M HP, but I've seen them go up to 82M HP when a bunch join in. I've found those fights very interesting because many times you do not have the benefit of tanks or healers... I think I HAVE acquired some better survival skills.But it sure can be thought of as an easier way to get a pug together. Both because of the flexible number of folks AND the fact one can invite cross realm.AND, what about cross faction? Maybe it's just me, but I have at least 2 friends that created toons Horde-side on a different realm and are playing them extensively. I really see no reason why I shouldn't be able to play together with them...Still, I don't really get the complaints about the loot system (well, they addressed the bonus roll part BUT what has hampered me a lot is getting loot I already have equipped or that is duplicates of what I previously won; not getting anything is far better than getting a slap in the face when you DO "win").
So, this is designed so people can run with their friends instead of relying on PUGs, yet it uses the LFR I-don't-trust-other-people loot system. The logic is amazing.Other than that, I think it is a nice addition, but IMO should be baked into LFR instead of being made stand alone. Like, if a group of 10-25 queues, they would be sent right into the raid as they are, while solos and smaller groups would use the random matching system. This just makes it all more complicated and degrades 25s.