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.
What's with all the complaints? A new optional mode which does not interfere with your chances of doing regular raiding and people all complaining that the gear isn't as good, or it's going to destroy raiding guilds, or even complaining about the way the LFR loot system works in all this...how bout just don't do it then? You want better gear? Run normal or heroic. You wanna raid with your guild? Do that, then do this, or the other way around and maybe have a slight bump in gear to help them out with. And am I the only one that thinks the LFR loot system is fine after the bonus roll lucky streak thing? Questing is the only way you've ever been guaranteed specific loot. Dungeons, raids, scenarios, whatever, nothing anywhere guarantees that you're going to even get loot you can use, let alone loot you need. With the lucky streak on bonus rolls you can say, run a segment, get no loot, rerun and use up all 3 coins on the same boss, run after run, until hey, finally you get loot from that one boss, and it's guaranteed to be something you can use. Quit complaining and realize that's actually the biggest guarantee you get in this game outside of questing. You don't need to get every piece of gear you want in one run. What's the point of running it after that? Just because you used to see gear drop all the time in the old system does not make it better. You probably won less often then, when you had people who would roll need just to vendor it. Or if your spec bonus still lost to a druid since they got a spec bonus on every single thing no matter what. When you joined an LFR and saw "oh no, there's 14 other people in here who will be rolling on the same pieces as me." So yes, I say hooray for flex raiding, and hooray for it using the LFR loot system.
As someone who raids on an RP server, I liked the sound of this. Then I saw the loot system for it. My issues:1) A lot of guilds progress through normal, and finish a patch doing nothing but normal. Some guilds just barely start heroics. At the pace these guilds move running normal, it makes running LFR almost mandatory to maintain gear improvements to progress. Adding a flex is good, but what about the people who want to progress in Normal? To maintain gear improvements while they're struggling to progress, now they have LFR to run every week for upgrades, then a "flex" raid to run for upgrades, then their Normal raid for upgrades. Everyone's going to say "well they don't HAVE to run LFR and Flex". Sorry, but that's just not true. Stagnating guilds stagnate because of A) lack of gear and B) lack of skill. Odds are, skill isn't going to appear out of nowhere, and odds also are that gear isn't going to appear out of nowhere. If they want to stop their stagnating, they'll need gear. And now, with 4 different modes and 3 different lockouts, they're going to be running the SAME raid 3 times a week to get the gear to get out of their stagnation. EX:"Hey, I run flex mode every week and kill all the bosses, then go kill the first 3 on normal. I'm 520 ilvl and half of it is lower versions of my BiS gear from Flex, and I've got my 4 piece tier set! Best part is it only takes us 2 hours a night for 2 nights!""Oh.. I run the first 6 bosses on normal every week, but we're stuck on Durumu, I'm stuck at 515 ilvl because a lot of my current gear is from the last raid tier, and all my BiS gear and tier set is stacked on the last 4 bosses, so I only have my 2 piece tier set... We spend 2 hours the first night getting to Durumu, then 2 hours the second night working on him, but we can't get him down."Don't think it's possible? Look at the gear for holy paladins. Tier shoulders/helm are on boss 10 and 11. Best chest from the raid is on boss 12. Best non-bonus roll weapon is on boss 12. Best shield is on boss 11. Best cape is on boss 9. The loot system is #$%^ed enough already2)A lot of the people in this are going to be on alts. With friends. Doing it as a guild. They like to be able to help each other gear. If our main tank is well geared, and our off tank is not very well geared, we'd like to give the off tank some gear. Especially if the main tank already has it. With the LFR loot system (which I hate for this same reason), if a GREAT trinket drops for the main tank, but that tank already has better trinkets, you've wasted loot, because now you can't give that to the off tank who desperately needs that upgrade. Yes, 4 or 5 of the people in the raid will get loot on an average boss kill, but how many of those players actually NEED or WANT the loot? Nothing pisses me off more than winning a LFR tier token right in front of my friend who needed that exact piece of loot for their tier set. I know I'd gladly sacrifice a minor gear gain (or downgrades I happen to loot, for that matter) to help a friend's fresh 90 get caught up. With this loot system, it's just not possible, which is incredibly aggravating.What should happen:Have this share a lockout with normal and heroic, otherwise it will become a glorified LFR organized through open raid instead of WoW Queues.(anyone who denies this is fooling themselves) If it's meant to be for social raiding and less organized or smaller guilds, then it shouldn't matter anyways, since those social raiders and less organized or smaller guilds are doing this because they can't do normal or heroic in the first place. Since it would share the normal lockout, have the loot options be the same as normal as well, to prevent wasting gear. TL;DRThis will %^&* the loot system more than it already is and take a lot of the reward out of doing normal modes for people struggling to get through normal.Sorry if it's a bit rambling, I just really hate the idea of yet another lockout.
Speaking as a guildmaster going back to TBC days...I think I speak for many a guildmaster who would say this could have saved many a guild had they implemented something like this years ago. It's something I wish was afford me many times.I can not count the times as a casual raiding guild leader that I had too many for a 10 man and not enough for a 25man or 2 solid 10man and had to make the agonizing choice of who raided and who didn't or killed the raiding all together to avoid disappointing members.This really could be one of the things that turns the tide on restoring guilds as the face of the game in a small way at least.
I think you may have hit it on the head. This is a very casual aimed tweak, which seems nice for casual gamers... but you don't pay monthly for years on end if you play casually. Blizzard continues to forget that effort == value. Making the game more and more casual makes it less and less worth the time.
I can see the good and bad to this, but mostly, I see good. Yes, it's not as good loot as normal modes, and I suppose 11 people in flexible versus 10 in normal mode is bad for gear. But everyone should also remember they are saying this does NOT take up any of your lockouts. It has its own lockout. So it allows you to do a Flex raid with however many people in your guild without having to leave people out (up to 25, of course). Then if you want to do your 10 or 25 man normal still like usual with your guild, you CAN. Because Flex didn't eat up the lockout.And as I've always said every time something is added like LFR or whatever that "hardcore raiders" whine about... if you don't like it, DON'T USE IT. It's not hurting you in any way if other people use it and you don't. And anything that could be considered such is just your own ego at work, in which case you need to work on your "get over it" skills (I hear there's a glyph for that).If you like it, great. If you don't, then go worry about something else and let the people who like it enjoy it. :)
If flex raiding had been around 6-8 months ago, our smallish casual social guild might have raided in MoP, instead of having a little drama war over strict attendance and losing people and never raiding at all. Granted, the people that caused the drama would have caused it eventually anyway as drama causing people do, but perhaps some bit of MoP content would have been seen in the meantime. I think Flex raiding can be a good thing for some guilds. There is no one-size-fits-all guild, and it's nice to see more choices being added to the game so that more guilds can participate at their own pace in a way that works for their members.
I like this idea, though I'd prefer if it was from 5 (or 7-8 if 2tank mechanics are needed) to 40 people.It gives a great opportunity for guilds to test recruits, or to run a raid late in the night when after each boss you have 1-2 people who got enough and want to sleep.
If the minimum would be 8 or so, it would help.But actually being able to get the meta achievement mounts aswell as the dropped mounts instead of having to do normal and heroic for it is a great relief already. With the scaled down diffeculty, the coordination required should be a bit more doable too!Whilst this might not be the biggest feature for everyone, it surely helps us all a bit. And if you don't like it, noone forces you to do it ;)
Personally feel like this should replace LFR. I'd imagine this would make PuGs flourish.
Interesting idea, but I would think the scaling would be tricky. The whole reason we have only 2 raid sizes to begin with is the difficulty for the devs in tuning the encounters properly.
How can people actually be upset about this being implemented? Oh, you're an uber geared hardcore raider B.A who plays 50 hours a week. That's great, good for you, but not every guild/person has the time to do that. I don't see any problem with letting people enjoy the game with the amount of friends they have on at the time.My old guild would often have 12-14 people log on and then a few people always got left with the shaft when we couldn't bring them. It wasn't fun for anybody. This at least would let everybody be able to jump in.WoW is as hard or easy as you want to make it, the sooner people get over their epeen not being as shiny because other people can -gasp- actually experience content that they do, the better.
I don't like this idea, it's already hard to raid with LFR system in 10m guilds, and 25 - impossible to make even on high populated servers. And what if ppl don't have 10+ ppl in their ID list? More and more ppl quit stable raiding, they prefer easy LFR right now - easy valor and gear, afk during fights = no obligations.