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.
I'm confused about how I feel about this.
Glory of the ogrimmar raider huh?
This could be very interesting .....
So basically to address the fact that 25 mans are dying, they are letting raids form anywhere up to 25? Sounds like a nightmare.
Blizz,That sounds exactly what new guilds like the one I'm currently in need. We need to bond together as a group and I think this will also reduce the notorius guild drama. I have been playing since vanilla and this is an excellent long needed addition to the game. Thank you!
Quite interesting. I foresee this making the way for plenty of new potential for raiders in the future.
I very much approve. Dynamic level scaling works wonderfully in Guild Wars 2 and is a positive move for WoW.Now they just need shared resource nodes and I'll have few, if any, complaints.
Really? So what happens when normal to heroic is too hard, we add another mode?
conflicted on how I should feel about this. Part of me loves it, part of me is on the fringe.
There are so many versions of epic items now that it basically fills 90% of the item database. This will only make it worse. I do understand why they are doing this, as some guilds simply do not have the exact number of 10 or 25 people for their raids, which forces them to have two 10m groups, mixed with a lot of PuGs, least they have to resort to LFR, which a lot of guilds hate.
I'm not much into raiding. (prefer PvP)But more options = a good thing
This allows guilds attempting to move into 25 man transition and test people more thoroughly, while still maintaining being able to do the core 10 man raid group.I'm seeing this as follows:LFR - I'd like to raid.Flex - I'd like to raid with people I know (a lot more people in this level than in the next)Normal - I'd like to raid with competenceHeroic - I'd like to raid with precisionLFR has that, I just wanna raid feel to it without any strings attached, Flex will have that strings attached feel but still have the "I wanna raid" tacked onto it. Normal mode is and SHOULD feel like an introduction into heroic difficulties, and Heroic should maintain its stance as hard (Heroic Lei Shen).In my opinion, this will let people learn mental aptitude needed to progress into normal raiding, 10 AND 25 depending on how large a group they consistently end up running in the Flex raids.
I wonder what is the relative difficulty compared to Normal?
For anyone with multiple characters/alts this is just way too much to do in a week!
Wonder if this is also the "unannounced feature"
So we still can't do 40-mans?-.-