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.
Personally, I don't think flex raiding will have that much of an overall effect except that I think its a good thing for guilds that want to run 25m but often come up 3-4 people short or for guilds which run 10m's and often have to sit people or keep them on as reserve raiders.
Tha'ts pretty awesome but would be better if you could go with less than 10 people. 5-10 atleast
When i see flexible i think how about between 5 - 10 man instead of 10 - 25 man. I seen days where you barely get a group of 10 going let along a group up to 25.
>>“Glory of the Orgrimmar Raider” raid meta- achievementThanks for this sneak peek :) .
Wasn't it obvious, was it ?
The what the...?
I think this is a great idea. In my guild we seem to have too many for a 10 man but not enough to fill a 25 man so the raid will adjust automatically to support the different numbers.Also how is this bad in that the last time I tried to get into a 25-man normal I had to wait an hour after accepting the raid invite due to folks were not on yet and we waited until we had a full group. After a few weeks of this the long wait got pretty old.
the basic concept is kind of nice...but the lfr loot bag system is broke. x-xget 11 people, go in, kill a boss.. RL asks 'so... do we get to gratz anybody on not getting a loot bag?' *raid is silent as it hits them they just wasted their time killing a boss for nothing... while if they had kicked the 11th person.. they would have had at least two items 100% for sure*
Fights would have to be altered too much for it to be any less then 10.
So instead of fixing the much complained about low drop rates of gear in the existing Raids, you introduce ANOTHER pointless tier of Raids?
I'd rather hear about what the last raid will be about :)
This.Also not sure lol
I am looking forward to this very much. I am more interested in content than loot. My husband and I enjoy playing wow for relaxing. And raiding is for sure not relaxing. Now we can raid with our small group of friends and family and have stress free fun!
Man, this sounds awesome. Almost exactly what I'm looking for. It's got my preferred loot system, the ability to take any number of friends I can get my hand on is awesome, I can get some of the achievements finished in there, I don't have to put up with random people in LFR (and the loot is better in flex raids, too!). We have some problems getting together a full 10 competent people, but we can probably find some less able filler to do these easier modes, and it'll be nice to be able to run in with 14 people if we gather too many at once. Good job, Blizzard.