Flexible Raid is a new difficulty, added in patch 5.4.0, that sits between Raid Finder and Normal difficulty that will be available for premade groups of 10–25 players, including any number in between. That means if a player have 11, 14, or 23 other people available for a Raid, they'll all be able to participate, and the enemies will scale dynamically.
Flexible raids use the personal loot system, and feature a separate lockout from all other raid lockouts.
Warlords of Draenor
Flexible Raids will continue in the Warlords of Draenor expansion, but in a different way. Instead of being its own tier of raid, it will be integrated into Raid Finder, Normal, and Heroic modes allowing for raid content to automatically tune its difficulty depending on how many players are in the raid at the time the bosses are encountered.
|Instance||Awarded achievement||Level||Item level||Required achievement||Date opened (US)|
|Siege of Orgrimmar - Part 1||90||540||None||10 September 2013|
|Siege of Orgrimmar - Part 2||90||540||Vale of Eternal Sorrows||17 September 2013|
|Siege of Orgrimmar - Part 3||90||540||Gates of Retribution||1 October 2013|
|Siege of Orgrimmar - Part 4||90||540||The Underhold||15 October 2013|
After careful consideration of the feedback you've shared, and after weighing pros and cons of the Flex mode system that came with Patch 5.4, we've decided to change how raid progress is saved. At patch launch, entering Flex mode SoO was based upon who had progressed the least. For example, a raid of 11 players entered SoO and downed 3 bosses on Tuesday night. Wednesday night, all 11 come back together to continue but decide to bring along 4 new people. If the raid had queued together, they'd have had to start the raid over from the beginning because those 4 new players weren't flagged as having downed the first 3 bosses. Our original intent was to err on the side of making sure no one in the raid would miss out on a boss that they still needed to kill.A hotfix applied this morning, however, takes a more traditional approach to raid lockouts by basing boss progression on the group leader's status. In other words, if the raid leader faced 3 bosses on Tuesday and decides to continue where he or she left off tonight, anyone who joins the Flex raid--even those who have never set foot into SoO--will begin the instance at the same point where the raid leader finished on Tuesday. This system is more straightforward and understandable for much of the WoW raiding community, therefore Flexible raids will no longer be based upon the least progressed member.
- If all members of a Flexible mode raid have killed specific bosses within a wing, when they queue up again the next day, they will begin where they left off.
- Example: All 14 players in the raid on day one have defeated Immerseus, but only 12 continued on to take down the Fallen Protectors. If that same group of 14 were to re-queue for the same wing the following day, they would begin at the Protectors with Immerseus remaining defeated. If they returned with the original 12 that downed the first two bosses, they’d carry on to Norushen.
- While Flexible mode will never scale in difficultly below 10 players, you can still queue up and begin clearing the instance with as few as 7 players in the raid.
- Example: You have 9 guild members and friends who are online and ready to rock Flexible mode, but the other 5 members of the raid are running a bit behind. You can still form a raid group and queue for Flexible Siege of Orgrimmar, and then head inside to begin taking down trash as you wait for the others to log in.
In general, the existing healing/damage scaling slightly favors larger groups, since boss health and damage scale up more slowly than does raid throughput. To use a specific example, an 18-player raid with 12 damage-dealers will kill a boss slightly faster than a 10-player raid with 6 damage-dealers (assuming equal skill/gear between the two groups). But it is true that currently some specific abilities exhibit breakpoints, where adding an extra player causes an extra add to spawn, or an ability to strike an additional target.
To help smooth out difficulty scaling as you add or remove players from your Flexible raid, we will be implementing one of our planned Warlords changes to the scaling system ahead of schedule. In the near future, several boss abilities that target more players as the size of a Flex raid increases will use weighted randomization rather than strict breakpoints.
An example to illustrate what I mean:
Today, Sun Tenderheart's Shadow Word: Bane ability afflicts 2 targets if your raid size is between 10 and 14, but begins to hit a third target at 15.
Once our upcoming change is in place, if you have a 13-player raid, there will be a 60% chance for each cast of the ability to hit 3 targets, and a 40% chance for it to hit 2. If you add an extra player, and thus have 14, there will now be an 80% chance for 3 debuffs to go out, and a 20% chance for only 2.
In short, with respect to this particular ability, adding an extra player will always give you an average of 0.2 extra Bane debuffs. No more breakpoints!
There will be a handful of exceptions where breakpoints remain necessary. Imprison on Sha of Pride is probably the most notable such example, where you really want to pre-plan who will cover which prisons, and having a random number of targets each cast would cause frustrating unpredictability.There's nothing wrong with 14-player groups -- 14 players is a great size for a raid. But so is 15. And 19. And 12. And 22. We just want to help make sure that good players aren't being turned away from groups because of the notion that their presence will make things harder for everyone.
- Dungeon difficulty
- Raid difficulty
- Former modes (deprecated in Patch 3.2)
- Hotfix (2013-09-13): Boss progress lockouts now based off of the raid leader's status.
- Patch 5.4.0 (2013-09-10): Added.