Do I Really Need to Run 3 Raids a Week?

Do I Really Need to Run 3 Raids a Week?

If you haven’t checked it out yet, WoW Insider has started releasing a series of weekly Google Hangout videos. On the WoW Hangout, it’s a group of us WoW Insider folks talking about different topics on a week to week basis. This week, we talked about Flex raids.

One of the questions posed was “Do you think it’s going to be mandatory for players to run three sets of raids? Isn’t that extreme?” I wanted to expand on my answers.

It all comes down to what you want out of this game. Over the years, there’s been this mad rush to get your character as geared out as possible so that you can do all the harder and fun stuff. Flex adds a third potential raiding lockout that you and your raid group can take advantage of. I feel that a small percentage of people will actually do this and try to blitz through all three lockouts. However, we need to remember that Raid Finder and Flex will be gated on release day. I remember reading somewhere that Flex will be on a slightly faster timetable (Can’t source it, so I may be incorrect).

It’s not something you can simply queue into either like you would for Raid Finder.

flex-toggle

If you actually do choose to run three raids a week, you should be able to get the armor and gear you need for your character quickly. That’s three sets of “loot pools” to choose from. Eventually, you’ll reach an equilibrium where there’s no longer a purpose to running the Raid Finder. You’ll be bouncing between Flex and Normal. After that, you’ll (at minimum) have items that are at least equal to the Flex level of drops. Won’t need to run that anymore, either. Your time should then be freed up to running just the Normal a week.

At least, that’s under the generous assumption that the loot Gods are kind to you. Did you remember to make your monthly Murloc sacrifice to appease them?

I really think that once all of the raid lockouts are available, players in raid groups that are ahead of the curve won’t be running all three week. Don’t kill yourself running this.

Plus summer’s here!

As for me, once Matticus is done being all geared out, I won’t be bringing him into those side raids anymore. If anything, I’ll activate Saphfira (Elemental Shaman) and Denesia (Frost Mage). That’ll keep giving me a reason to run Flex raids on our off nights of raiding (Wednesday nights). It’s completely optional and it’s the perfect environment for players with alts or working on offspecs to get some practice in case we need to call upon them on the main raid. Until Flex comes out, my guild and friends are content with running parts 3 and 4 of ToT. Part 2 simply takes too long because there’s so much trash and snails. I’m not inclined to run part 1, either.

Some of our retired raiders have even expressed some interest in coming back just for that. It’s a lower stress environment and they know that the group we have has the capability to smash through it.

I’ve seen the projected map for the new Siege of Orgrimmar raid. It’s expected to contain 13 bosses. My worry is that we may not be able to get through all of that in a single night. If that happens, we’re going to need to split the run into a week 1 and week 2 deal where we can knock out as much as possible in the first day before coming back next week and cleaning up.

Here’s another blue post with more details about how the lockout will work.

“Will the lockout be similar to LFR where you can run it again (with only 1 chance per week for loot) or will it be like normal, where you can only kill a boss once per week?”

Right now, the idea is to have FR lockouts work very similarly to lockouts in LFR.
You will be able to repeat bosses, and that will actually still be somewhat rewarding, you’ll be able to use additional bonus rolls, earn Valor Points, and potentially loot some shinnies from trash…

There’s something unique about FRs though, I’ll explain it with an example:
Let’s say you join a 12man and kill the first boss, leave the raid, and join a 20man, you might have to repeat the first boss.

“Might”, so how does that work?
If everyone in the new 20man raid has already killed the first boss just like you did, then that boss will not spawn.
But even if only 1 of the players in that 20man has not killed the first boss, he will spawn again and everyone else will have to repeat the encounter.

Source

Yikes! Maybe the whole week 1/week 2 raiding thing won’t work as well as I thought! That’s assuming we bring in a new player the next week. Being able to farm the same bosses repeatedly for valor points? Hrm!

Are you thinking about running all three lockouts or are you content with just one or two? What plans do you have about your alts (if any)?

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.