Monday, November 11, 2013

Warlords of Draenor: Raiding

As predicted, flexible raiding kills normal raiding and takes its stuff.

In WoD, there will be four raiding modes, each on separate loot lockout:

1. Raid Finder

More or less the same as now, with a little bit of scaling tech. I'm not really sure what the scaling will really add, given that every role but tank fills pretty fast. I don't really see fights scaling down from 2 tanks to 1.

What I would like to see is for signing up for multiple instances to be the norm, more like Dungeon Finder. For example, let me sign up for all of the Siege of Ogrimmar instances at once. As long as I get put in an instance that still has bosses I haven't killed this week, life should be okay. It would mean that the pools for each wing would be much larger, and raids able to form quicker.

Also, I would like to see four tanks, but that's very unlikely.

2. Normal Raids

What's currently Flexible difficulty. Scales from 10 to 25 people.

The only really interesting thing here is the loot system. Apparently Personal Loot will become an option like Master Loot or Need Before Greed. Otherwise the amount of loot you get will scale. I gather this means that--if you get 1 item per 5 raiders--11 raiders would mean you will have a 20% change of getting 3 items, and an 80% chance of getting 2 items.

3. Heroic Raids

What's currently Normal difficulty, but with flexible scaling. Scales from 10 to 25 people. Pretty much the same as WoD Normal, but more difficult.

4. Mythic Raids

Current Heroic difficulty. Fixed size of 20 players. Having a fixed size should allow Blizzard to make more inventive fights. As well, the race (at least in the West) will have a common format. One nice thing about 20 players is that you should be able to take your bench along when you farm a Heroic Raid.

This does suck a bit for current Heroic-10 groups, but the scaling of the lower level should allow them to work back up to size if they wish to. As for current Heroic-25 groups worried about cutting people, the truth is that there is always churn around expansion time. Some people will want to retire, some will want to come back. The drop from 25 to 20 should be taken care of with normal attrition.

There are also several high end raiders worried that the separate lockouts will mean that they will need to run every instance. I think that the fact that the lower difficulties are flexible will make it easier, it make showing up more optional. You can have smaller subgroups run the lower difficulties, without really affecting things.

Personally, I like separate lockouts because you don't have to worry about time as much. You just finish one instance and then start on the next. When you want more time on a specific instance, you just drop a lower instance from the schedule.

Questions and Conclusions

I wonder what will happen with Thunderforged/Warforged gear. As well, how will Valor be handed out? I wonder if it wouldn't be better to just drop these two ideas altogether. Just go old school and rely on drops entirely.

All in all, I think this is a solid plan for raiding. I think the Flexible raids will make roster and attendance issues much less of a headache for all non-Mythic guilds. Even Mythic guilds should find that the Flexible nature of the Heroic raids will make organizing farming runs a fair bit easier, allowing them to focus on the truly difficulty content.


  1. "This does suck a bit for current Heroic-10 groups, but the scaling of the lower level should allow them to work back up to size if they wish to."

    Not really, because we'd be done with "heroics" in WoD in 2-3 weeks -- and we're a 10 man that only raids two nights a week. A 10 man that raids 4 nights a week and is good will clear the whole thing week 1.

    In other words, your statement is only true for 10 man heroic guilds which don't get into heroics for a month or three. They'll have the time to build up a roster during WoD -- it's going to have to be really fast adjustment for the more serious 10 mans.

    So "This does suck a bit" is quite the understatement. We'll see as we get closer but this is going to destroy hordes of 10 man guilds and will still royally suck for the rest.

  2. You can already queue for multiple raid finder wings, you just need to open back the interface after queueing for the first, select another, and queue for it. It was added with SoO.

  3. Now they just have to find some progression for people who prefer 5 man content.

    I was hoping for something like the fractal levels in GW2, combined with the item downscale system, for dungeons.

  4. The raids are on separate lockouts, but loot lockouts are shared. You can only loot a given boss once per week.

    Tom Chilton also mentioned that warforged loot is here to stay, and they're building on it by also adding the small chance for tertiary stats.

  5. RTHC - I don't think that's correct, I think they're seperate loot lockouts. From

    "Last but not least, Normal and Heroic will allow groups to be built out of Real ID and BattleTag cross-realm friends, and all raiding options will be on separate lockouts—meaning boss kills in Raid Finder, Normal, Heroic, and Mythic will not be shared between them, and you can kill each boss in each difficulty for a separate chance at loot each week."

    (Emphasis mine)

    I sympathise a lot with Balkoth's position, although I'm lucky enough to be in exactly the right demograph - 2 nights a week, but a bit less skilled, so we usually get to heroics about half way through the tier, and I'm really looking forward to having half of each tier with much less logistical faff. That said, I am probabably going to try and start a second 10-man during 5.4, so that we have a slightly quicker transition to 20ish come 6.0

  6. I took something different from the raids and dungeons panel when I watched it, but my memory is kind of hazy from staying up in the UK to watch the whole thing! I'll be happy to re-watch it this evening to see if I can find a direct quote.

    MMO are reporting one drop per boss, per week, but of course that contradicts the blog you linked, so who knows?

  7. Just a note that they're thinking of eliminating Honor and Justice points, so people would only be able to accumulate Valor and Conquest.

  8. I think that the bit on MMO Champion which says "Each raid difficulty has its own lockout. They will be loot based lockouts, allowing you to kill the same boss multiple times per week and only get loot once a week." (assuming that is what you're referring to) means is that each seperate lockout will work the same way that the flex/LFR lockout does now, so even after you've killed a boss on a given difficulty, you can go back and help a friend kill it, but you won't be eligible for loot (if it's personal loot), or count towards the total used for calculating how much loot drops (if it's raid loot)

    I'm sure it'll all become clear in time though.

  9. My worry about the gear's stats switching when you change spec is that people who have no desire to tank (or heal) will be pressured to do so.