So the big announcement is out, flexible raids that scale on difficulty based on the number of people in your group s that it is always somewhere in between normal mode raids and lfr. Sounds good but I’m actually not so sure I like it.
I have been saying in /g that I wanted 10 man pre-made lfr so I could run lfr with a full guild group and in a way this is that but if we have 12 people we don’t need to kick 2 guildies out and that part is therefore awesome as it is what I wanted and more. However, it doesn’t replace my lfr lockout it adds to it.
Like it or not raiders will now feel the need to run 3 versions of the same raid for that chance of loot upgrades especially as the ilevel will sit between normal and lfr modes this is especially likely early in the tier. This all sounds very familiar. This sadly sounds all too familiar and reminds me too much of Trial of the Grand Crusader. I ran that place 4 times per week on at least 2 toons for the duration in the hope of small upgrades pushing me and my guild through the next boss and that lead to a lot of folks burning out. It is bad. It is this very reason Blizzard removed the gear gap and lockout difference between 10 and 25 man raids.
The strange thing is the addition of an extra level of loot (is this why there is an 20 ilevel gap between ToT lfr and ToT normal? Was this meant to be in for 5.3?) as this only adds to the stat inflation. Another potentially bad side effect of this is that as normal mode raiders get gear drops from the flex-raid and normal raids they will eventually have no reason to go into lfr for loot and this could mean that the only people that end up in lfr are those needing to gear up which as the raid tier gets older, fewer and fewer players that currently provide the boost to the lower geared/skilled players will be there and that could lead to some people not in guilds and scared of trade pugs to simply quit the game as they experience queue times that actually extend beyond their normal gaming session and cannot get in let alone complete the raid which too may become an issue. It also removes a vital step in the catch up mechanics of the game.
My final negative thought on this is that I really wanted this “unannounced killer feature” to be a top notch content boost, this isn’t extra content at all it is just another version of the same content. For raiders, it is like watching your favourite TV show with the colour changed to black and white. I’m not going to bury this feature before it is live and am hoping that it will open doors to more content. There is still the hope that my desire for this feature to be either enabling old raids to be brought upto date by the scaling technology and/or enabling all previous dungeons for challenge modes as that would have been truly awesome.But the I guess this may not be the killer feature of the patch.
Of course there is a lot of really positive possibilities. The first is that it won’t be given a tool to form the group as the group must be premade which is good for guilds and server communities. The extra difficulty will help people bridge the gap in difficulty of lfr and normal which newer players often find it difficult to cross and that will ultimately lead to better raiders. For raid teams that cannot clear the raids on normal mode it will enable them to finish the latter half of the raid instance on flex-raid which will give extra drops that may just provide the extra power boost to get the boss down on normal mode next time. The real beauty though is that it could lead to a pair of 10 man guilds combining forces to raid and that ultimately could see a revival of 25 man raid guilds.
What are your thoughts on the new flexible raids? Is this even the big feature of 5.4? Will they be the next killer feature or the next voice chat?