Updated Flexible Raid Lockout System

**Forgive the slight grammatical errors. I wrote it in a hurry and overlooked the “it’s” that I had written incorrectly. Thanks to those who pointed it out.**

Up until today, the new 10/25 raid lockout method has been met with praise and condemnation. Most of us have believed that if you started a 25man, you could stick with that 25, or downgrade to 10 on the same lockout. It was thought that you could not “re-upgrade” to 25man. Until now.

As posted on MMO-Champion today, Bashiok wrote a Blue Post about the new system that we’ll see VERY soon.  As in, 4.0.1 soon. In terms of current raiding, this new system will only be in place for ICC and Ruby Sanctum but will persist through all of Cataclysm. The post itself took a couple times for me to digest it, so I’m going to attempt to break it down for you. (Key word: attempt)

Its Purpose

The purpose of this new “Flexible Raid Lockout System”, as opposed to trapping people into raid IDs or limiting their raid potential, seems to allow a more fluid movement through a typical raid week. Before this system, you’d step into a raid, and as soon as you killed the first boss, you were locked to that ID. The raid could sit dead mid-way through, and you’d be stuck. You couldn’t really progress unless you found people from that raid or people that weren’t saved yet. Except for guilds, it would be really hard to continue.

Its Mechanic

Each raid, rather than being designated an entire lockout, has a lockout for each encounter in it, regardless of raid size (10 or 25). For Icecrown Citadel, this means 12 “lockouts”. As Bashiok said, they want raiders to have the “opportunity to defeat each encounter once a week.” You are locked out of each individual encounter as you down a boss. A couple things to keep in mind:

  • You cannot enter a different raid where bosses that you’ve defeated are still alive.

What does this mean? Let’s say you’ve killed Marrowgar, Deathwhisper and Gunship in your raid on Wednesday night. On Thursday, you cannot join a raid of either size that still hasn’t defeated Gunship. From what it seems, that raid would have to defeat Gunship before you joined in.

  • Upon entering a new or different raid, you’re not saved to their “list” until you down a boss. Getting saved to a more progressed raid will lockout all bosses until that point.

In using the example above, if you’ve killed Marrowgar, Deathwhisper and Gunship, and join a different raid that has the first four bosses, as well as Rotface & Festergut killed, you won’t be saved until you down any of the other bosses alive. If you defeat Putricide with them, your raid breakdown will now say that you’ve defeated Saurfang, Festergut, and Rotface as well (even though you didn’t ACTUALLY kill them).

  • You can switch between 10- and 25-player raids along the way. The above stipulations still apply.

You can kill the first quarter on 10-man, join a 25-man to kill the 2nd quarter, then finish out the rest on 10-man. We once thought that once we downgraded to 10, we couldn’t upgrade to 25. This obviously is not the case anymore.

Heroic / Hardmode

Heroic Mode or “Hardmode” seems to work on a very strict lockout system, where once you’re in, you’re in. I’ll try to bullet-point how this works:

  • If you down a boss on Heroic (in any size), you can only continue to raid Heroic with that specific raid. You cannot change raid sizes and continue on Heroic.
  • If you down a boss on Heroic and join a different non-Heroic raid, that raid cannot upgrade to Heroic with you in it.
  • You cannot join someone’s else’s raid if they’re already defeated a boss on Heroic.
  • If you down a boss on Heroic, then the rest of the raid clears the rest without you, you can still join another non-heroic raid that already has your same bosses down.

The one problem I have with this is not being able to join a raid with Heroic bosses already down. If my guild starts Heroic ICC without me because I have to work on the first raid night, then it seems like I can’t join the raid mid-run. Is this intended to make it harder and “more Heroic”? Or is this maybe an oversight or misreading of the mechanic?

—-

I do like that you can continue to raid if your normal group can’t, but the restrictions on Heroic seem just an ounce too tight. Overall, this really will allow people to raid 25s if they want or can, and doesn’t penalize people for only being able to do 10mans. It in fact let’s them join in on a more progressed 25-man raid that may need an extra body. With it being a little less restrictive than we all thought, I’m really looking forward to seeing this new “lockout system” play out. What do you think? Interesting mechanic? Or too confusing?

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Comments

  1. The one problem I have with this is not being able to join a raid with Heroic bosses already down.

    My guess is that they mean you can’t join unless you have a completely empty raid id. I.e. you can join the heroic raid if you aren’t saved to ICC at all.

  2. Graam (VeCo) says:

    My understanding was that if you missed the first night of a heroic run you would still be able to join up. It’s just if you downed a boss on heroic with a different group that would prevent you from joining the second night of your guild’s run. I believe “You may also not join someone else’s raid if they have defeated a Heroic encounter.” is continuing the example from the previous sentence, not a general, stand alone case. At least, that’s what I hope they mean.
    I certainly approve of the flexibility on normal, and although Heroic is a bit confusing, that content isn’t gonna be pugged when it matters anyway, and guild groups can handle it.

  3. The its/it’s thing drives me nuts. 😛

    Also, what Rohan said; they left out the part that if you’ve already participated in any size raid you can’t join another heroic raid. If you’ve not participated in anything, your raid ID is open and you’ll be able to do whatever you like.

  4. Something doesn’t seem right. How is the raid supposed to continue if people have to leave after you down heroic Gunship. It doesn’t sound like you can bring anyone new in after that point, and I don’t think the developers would have created a system like that.

  5. “The one problem I have with this is not being able to join a raid with Heroic bosses already down. If my guild starts Heroic ICC without me because I have to work on the first raid night, then it seems like I can’t join the raid mid-run. Is this intended to make it harder and “more Heroic”? Or is this maybe an oversight or misreading of the mechanic?”

    I read it that way too the first time. I have trouble believing that Blizzard would implement it that way though. We’d loose as much as a third of our roster on a given week with people who needed to be absent on one day, or leave early on another, or were on standby for the first boss, so they miss the entire *week* of raiding. Not to mention that you wouldn’t be able to replace someone if they disconnected or had an emergency – thus stalling the progress of 24 other people. How could anyone think that that wouldn’t create huge amounts of resentment over unavoidable issues and unreasonable barriers to progression? Having players on standby is a core part of running a progressive team.

    I think all they are saying is that two people saved to different Heroic raid ID’s cannot do any Heroics together, but they can do Regular modes if they choose. It’s a fairly simple explanation as well – Heroic modes will work exactly as they do now, but Regular modes will have different rules.

  6. In my opinion – this should have come with Cata only – this will directly change raiding guild’s who are still progressing in ICC immensely and was a big mistake on Blizz’s part to implement at this current time. They should have allowed guilds to finish their goals as is for now.

    Change talent trees, stats or whatever – don’t drastically change a system that sometimes define guilds in the midst of current content.

  7. You can’t do any heroic modes if even a single member of your raid already has even a single heroic-mode kill from a different raid lockout ID. You can continue with regular modes or you can replace that player and do heroic modes. You could even ask that player to leave the raid, down a heroic boss shorthanded, and then add that player back for further regular mode kills.

  8. I don’t see why they have to lock you out. How about instead just “locking” you out of any loot/emblems from that particular encounter if you’ve already looted once that week? Kind of like it is now for the brewfest boss. It’s going to be a problem entering a raid midway because every single person (for a pug anyway) is going to be saved to a different boss. This is going to be a nightmare for the raid organizers.

  9. Christopher Schmidt says:

    Presumably you’ve seen this at this point, but I just wanted to point out, since your comments didn’t seem to:

    If you have not killed any heroic bosses this week, you can join a run which has killed heroic bosses, and help them kill bosses on heroic (so long as you didn’t get further in than them).

    If you have not raided at all this week, you can join a run which has killed heroic bosses, and help them kill bosses on heroic.

    What you can’t do:

    Join an ICC25 PUG, do normal lower spire with Heroic Gunship, then on Monday, join your guild ICC25 run and help kill heroic Putricide.

  10. This is a very disappointing development.

    My guild raids 10-man. I was fortunate t get into a 25-man regular “pug” Now I have to give up that 25-man for my guild. How is this of benefit to me? The 25 team is going to want fresh people in their raid.

    Also, one of my guildies has Kingslayer, so he’s been unlocking Lootship for us. We won’t be able to do that anymore. So now something that would have given us a little boost is taken away.

    This makes for a sad.

  11. “In using the example above, if you’ve killed Marrowgar, Deathwhisper and Gunship, and join a different raid that has the first four bosses, as well as Rotface & Festergut killed, you won’t be saved until you down any of the other bosses alive. ***If you defeat Putricide with them, your raid breakdown will now say that you’ve defeated Saurfang, Festergut, and Rotface as well (even though you didn’t ACTUALLY kill them).***”

    Pardon my silly question but does this mean people can get credit and achievements for bosses they don’t actually help down?? Or am I just reading that wrong?

  12. I think this is a step in the right direction. I’m still a big proponent for being able to do a boss anytime but only being able to loot a boss once so that you can help friends but I see Blizz doesn’t quite like that idea, perhaps in the future. 🙂

  13. @Manapot: you’ll have been deemed as having killed them for lockout purposes, not for achievement purposes.

    @Napps: Blizz addressed that objection directly on the forums. Their attitude is that current progression raiding is out of whack as soon as 4.0.1 lands anyway (since the new systems won’t be balanced properly at 80), and they see it as more important for guilds and players to have a a month or two to get used to the new lockout system before they start raiding at level 85.

    @tehshiv: Again, Blizz addressed that comment directly. They simply have a fundamental objection to the idea of someone participating in a boss kill without any chance at getting loot from that boss. They’ve elaborated on the social dynamics behind that issue in the past as well (i.e. if a guild is short on tanks, raid lockouts make it impossible for the tanks they *do* have to be asked to tank encounters more than once a week).

    @Scott: your last example won’t work. Once the new raid downs heroic lootship, it won’t be able to accept any new members that have killed a heroic encounter under a different raid ID.

    @Thespius: As others have suggested, read the sentence that concerned you as if it has been written: “If your Heroic 25-player raid defeats the first four bosses of Icecrown Citadel on Heroic, then you may not join someone else’s raid if they have defeated a Heroic encounter.”

    ED’s description is a good one, I think. The new flexible lockout applies so long as you’re only doing normal mode encounters. As soon as you do a Heroic mode, that raid ID is upgraded to a hard lockout that means that it is now the *only* ID where the raiders present can do heroic encounters, and also that other raiders that have completed a heroic mode can no longer join that raid.

    It should kill off heroic mode PUGs, without really affecting heroic mode guild raids.

  14. A little more on the why can’t I raid for no loot on bosses I have already killed. What would happen is you would end up with Mercenary players charging to help struggling guilds clear content. Guilds would also lay on players like tanks to run multiple times through the same content to push alts, etc through the content. I wouldn’t be good in any way to allow this.

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