Patch 5.4 has been really interesting for World of Warcraft raiders. The Flex system has taken the headache out of assembling a raiding party that will actually stick around. Warlords of Draenor will take Flex to the next level, offering improved functionality for flexible raiding. But for those after a pure, classic take on raiding, a new Mythic difficulty level will offer the ultimate raiding experience.
Talking at BlizzCon, Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas said: “We’ve taken a moment to consider our philosophy and how we approach our raids. We’re super happy to see how flex raiding has turned out so far in patch 5.4 and how it’s been embraced.”
“One of the benefits of flex raiding is that in the 10 vs 25 war, everyone can win. We see flex as the way forward in that regard.”
For Warlords of Draenor, Flex will work continually throughout the raid. During Raid Finder sessions, if a couple of people drop out at the final boss, rather than players having to wait for Raid Finder to fill the newly created slots the boss will simply scale down, allowing the remaining players to tackle the enemy without being at a major disadvantage.
Flex certainly adds some benefits to Raids, but for many people the ‘any number of players goes’ philosophy is counter to the very nature of raiding. Where have the days of having a perfectly calibrated raiding party gone? Mythic mode is the answer. Hazzikostas explained that so-called “cutting-edge content” (i.e: the newest raids) need to be delicately tuned to work. “Cutting edge content is best suited to a single fixed raid size,” he explained. Mythic ensures that this content is explored in the intended way, demanding a fixed 20 players per raiding party. Ideally these 20 players will contain one of every class for maximum balance and versatility. On cutting-edge content, Flex raiding will be impossible.
This leaves Warlords of Draenor with a four-tier raiding structure. Flex raiding, offering content for groups of between 10 and 25 players, will be available for content supporting Raid Finder, Normal, and Heroic settings. For those looking for the “ultimate raid”, Mythic difficulty demands a fixed 20-man raiding party.