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.
Like I said in my initial post in this thread, a day or two ago- I don't think they needed this, but it doesn't bother me that they have it. I understand the reasoning, and I don't think it will interfere with my normal raiding, so I'm not too concerned.
The critics can please sit down.Maybe in your Mal'Ganis population realm you foresee some obscure problems with this, but realms like mine which are utterly dead literally cannot find 10 people to do Normals with. There are few people active, and so few that are nearly good enough to raid it's silly.An almost raid finder difficulty with slightly better gear, and I'll be able to bring any of my casual guildmates to go raiding once a week.I don't see the downside.With this many separations of raiding tiers though, I wouldn't mind if they replaced LFR with this.
To Jkpman, being able to raid on a regular basis isn't always just about ability or a player's commitment to being a good player. It also has a huge degree to do with being able to dedicate 2-3 nights a week in 3-4 hour intervals to something as trivial as a video game. I once upon had this sort of time to dedicate but since getting married and now having a second child on the way I can no longer in good conscience commit that sort of time to this game. So sometimes I use lfr and sometimes I do other things in the game. I spent approx two years raiding twice a week on average and I have to say that I don't really miss it. Sitting and listening to the same raid leader over the space of 3 hours or more can be extremely tedious and boring. Flex raiding allows some people to raid with people they know or have played with before in a very informal manner and is a step forward for the overall community in this game. If you can't understand this then you just don't understand real life.
Oh, I get it now. The only raiding that should be in the game is raiding for progression, and if you're having fun, you're doing it wrong and you should feel bad for ruining WoW.
Some of the detractors are not getting it.It's not about the gear ilevel, though in the ever growing halo type player mentality, that's all it ever is about.With this genre of players who mostly see guilds today as way stations, I can understand this reaction.If you ever ran a casual people first guild like I did, you would understand flex raid is a godsend.How many nights I was stuck with 12 members and knowing I had to leave 2 behind or 18 members and unable to pug enough to get up to 25. This will do so much for the chemistry of small guilds or even bigger guilds wishing to try out new recruits.You will see the effects of this down the road, when cottage size chummy type guilds begin to spring up in lieu of these impersonal Walmart size guilds we have now. This is essence Blizz attempt to return to it's root and begin to restore those things that once were the face of the game and in turn hopefully begin to stem the tide of subscription losses.
many will likely disagree with me but there is a much more simple salution without makeing a new mode per say, they should just make normal mode advanced lfr with gear requirements an average between what normal and lfr can give you ( not any further under as venders help make up a good bit ) it would be as hard as normal mdoe with the same % drops on moutns pets loots ect same ilvl and everything, an example of the gear required to get in would be lfr 502 normal 522 so the required ilvl to get into normal mode lfr would be 512, a guild can still go into it at 500 if they dont use the queue, this will require some mechanic fallowing but buff out alot of the rough areas, the problem with this is that blizzard put item upgrades back in (which i love but still makes it harder to balance) and that they would fill sorry for the people that cant get in there in a week with crafted gears (blizz if you dont stop letting people into raids with 458 blues the game will only degrade further) the point of this gear requirement is so that if your a vet lfr user and you capped your lfr and vender gear you can tackle some normal modes without the long boring group building proccess and when a healer or tank leaves and the server is dead you cant pug replace and noone in guild to replace IT DOESNT DISBAND the only time a raid should truely disband is on heroic when they just are not fit for the task because thats the elitists raiding there, normal mode lfr should be for normal people who play a lot and entery level lfr should be for the tards and super casuals, who agrees or disagrees? feel free to post this on there forums giving me credit i was perma banned over 2 years ago its been so long they even lost the reason record but even after 1 email a month they wont reverse itPS: excuse my spelling its atrochous but my ideals are usualy pretty solid
Dis pear, so delicious.Call be weird but months after unsubbing and playing TOR, seeing all the new little goodies actually makes me want to resub. Can grab my wife, father, cousins & a few friends that are spread out across several realms and have a little fun.To the naysayers - I realized back in Cata that I was no longer Blizzard's target audience. It's unfortunate that it's taken pandas & middle-casual raiding to make you realize this... WoW's not the game it used to be, because the MMO market is not what it used to be. Hardcore just doesn't sell these days, can't blame 'em for going where the money is.Adapt or unsub, that's your options. Most of you will just talk some smack and keep subbing like you've been doing since Wotlk.Me, I'm probably gonna resub and see what happens!
I really doubt people will opt out of scheduled guild raids to PUG and get worse gear than they would otherwise. I really like this idea, actually. I raid regularly with my guild most weeks and PUGs when people are away, but I haven't ever gotten past Durumu (on normal). This seems like a good way for me to actually clear a raid outside of the stupidly easy raid finder mode. This (I think, if I'm reading this right) will only be a 'moderately easy' mode.
This is exactly what I have been looking for! This will help people like me who want to learn how to raid. (LFR is not learning how to raid when you have a ton of unhelpful, impatient trolls yelling at you if you don't know how to do something) This gives us aspiring raiders a chance to get some of our friends together to train up and actually learn mechanics and team work and to build a team together that can advance to Normals and Heroics at our own pace. Thank you, Blizzard for finally doing something right (: xoxo