Why the Flex Raid is a Boon

Why the Flex Raid is a Boon

I recently purchased a Flex plan from my cell company where I’d be charged monthly based on the amount of data I actually used. I don’t know if I’ll always be near a wireless access point or not but at least the charges will scale accordingly.

Speaking of Flex plans, Blizzard’s taking a page out of that book and introduced a new type of raiding: The Flex Raid difficulty.

  • We can bring anywhere from 10 – 25 people and the bosses will scale.
  • We can invite friends from other realms via battle tag
  • Item level is between raid finder and normal but loot will be handled via raid finder loot system
  • Separate lockout from raid finder, normal/heroic

I’m still digesting the news. Usually my raid will run through raid finder once a week. We’ve started bringing in and carrying our alts. People are still running raid finder to grab their Titan Runestones at the start. Raid finder is great if I just want to mind numbingly get my way through an instance, gear up an alt, and just generally not have to think but mash buttons. I can eat every void zone, stand in every fire, miss every interrupt, and can live (most of the time).

What kind of example am I setting, right?

Why it’s good

This is great for guilds and cross realm raid groups. Players don’t have to transfer their characters from server to server to raid. I know there’s players out there who have a whole train of alts with assorted professions designed to support their main. If that player is satisfied with raiding on the flex plan, then they can still see the content in the game without committing money to move their supply train.

Second, from a recruiting standpoint, this is a huge tool for a prospect to raid with a potential guild and see if they’d fit in. Right now, we run livestreams and invite possible recruits on to our Mumble in order to give them a look at our raids. I can see a day set aside where recruits can jump in and raid with the team – And the beauty is a whole 25 man team isn’t going to be needed either.

Third, what about guilds that are looking to scale up from 10 to 25 man? This is another excellent way for them to gradually expand. It’s often a nightmare to make an immediate jump from a 10 man to a 25 man raiding guild. Sometimes the pool of player availability isn’t always there. The flex raid allows them to slowly (but surely) change their raid size until a consistent 25 raiders is found for the inevitable shift to normal modes.

But at the end of the day, Flex Raid isn’t a normal raid. It will never carry the prestige or reputation that normal and heroic kills grant. I doubt it’ll be taken seriously but maybe that’s what the main point of the flex raid is. It’s not designed to be cutting edge or challenging. It’s supposed to bring you, your family, and your friends together to raid where you don’t have to deal with potential morons in raid finder. You get to raid on your terms with whoever you want with relaxed restrictions.

Will you flex?

I’m still weighing the costs and benefits of working in Flex raiding for Conquest. I’d remove guild sanctioned Raid Finder from the list of activities and swap to this instead. At minimum, I would have to have at least two tanks available for this. With Raid Finder, I’d be able to go in with whatever composition I had available. The potential drops are better than raid finder anyway. I imagine my current raiding gear from Throne of Thunder will be better than the Raid Finder and flex drops in 5.4. If anything, Flex will be used to help ease our way into progression raids or on nights where half the raid is unable to attend.

Where does the flex raid factor into your guild’s raiding plans? What about your raiding plans? I’ll end up changing my Wednesday night raid finder to the flex raid instead.

About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

4 comments
Evlyxx
Evlyxx

It is something that will fill a niche and that is always good. I'm still hoping this wasn't the killer feature that has been overhyped by Ghostcrawler & Co though as it is nothing more than an extra difficulty level rather than more content and stuff to do.

The one thing I forsee that could be really bad though is that raiders will simply not bother with LFR once they have the option of an easier raid that they don't have to suffer the fools found in a random pug.

This could however be the saviour of server communities and pug raids formed there. The pug raids from Wrath were often so much fun and a place I picked up many non-guildie friends.

Denny U Gomez
Denny U Gomez like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

To be honest this is one of my favorite features in Diablo III when playing with groups. The contents gets harder or easier as people join and leave your group. I can finally start introducing more people to raiding without them committing or being shocked at the difficulty.

mattuzzi
mattuzzi moderator

@Denny U Gomez Never thought about it being used as a way to introduce players into raids gradually before. Good point. 

quintinius
quintinius

I think it will definitely be useful for people still trying to get their gear up to par. People coming back from a leave of absence or switching mains will be able to get gear that's *almost* as good as normal gear to help whatever raid team they're going to join.

Another thing worth mentioning is that my guild has 2 separate raid teams. As usual the first is more progressed than the second. We'll be able to go in with ~20 people and show the second raid group how to properly execute mechanics and encounters, as well as getting them gear and keeping the two groups on the same page, feeling like a guild, and still making decent progress. It especially helps because we're both 10man groups, but won't have to debate about which team to give specific pieces of loot to, rewrite loot spreadsheets, or worry about fairness. Based on this alone I see it as a good thing. 

I really dislike, however, that we're going to feel required to do this in order to keep up. Shit like legendary questlines, maintaining a decent gear level, and the like are just too valuable to sacrifice. Ofc Blizz will pull the "we're not MAKING you do anything" card and f them because of it but MOST players will feel obliged to run it once a week. On top of normal raiding this will feel like a chore until they accomplish whatever it is they're raiding for in the first place; be it to help their guild, progress their legendary questline, or just to get gear, it's going to be a lot, if not way too much.

This, on top of doing Normal/Heroic progression, LFR, and dailies is going to be exceptionally time-consuming. So, if it does get done it probably won't be super popular despite its intents. 

Wasted resources in terms of development where they could be making Silvermoon flight fucking friendly would be MUCH more appreciated than this, in my opinion. 

Overall intent is good. Possible good outcomes. Wrong thing to focus on. Too much to do to feel successful. 

Trackbacks

  1. [...] said. I’ve written about it a few times here (and here). No need to elaborate here! But it’ll be available in the next patch as something [...]