Flex raiding mode discussion
Since there was no thread about it here I thought I might as well start it. Having read the announcement about the new difficulty my thoughts are the following:
- It should really be a good system for those who want to have some casual pug friendly content, or for casual normal/HC mode raiders raiding 3 or so times a week who want something to do with their friends on off-days
- I like the LFR-loot system, a lot of pug drama is caused by loot being given wrongly, "I was afk/DC for 30 seconds why did you already award the item", or just by someone who is upset they didn't win a roll
- It should help some LFR raiders to transition into normal and maybe in the future heroic mode raiding since they have a more organized environment but still forgiving environment to learn how "real" raiding goes.
I do, however, also have a couple of concerns about this
- What is the gear dropping from it gonna be like?
Currently, T15 LFR drops 502 item level, which is close to T14HC BiS items (509). If T16 LFR is also only 7 ilvls behind T15HC and Flex mode ilvl is higher than LFR by let's say 10 (since LFR to normal difference is 20 atm, assuming this won't change), then it is even possible that Flex T16 will drop higher item level loot than heroic T15 (unless you have thunderforged).
While I don't think this would pose an issue for normal mode raiders, since if you are doing normals I assume you are less interested in absolute min maxing of your character, or even for the more casual heroic mode raiders who kill heroics on a more relaxed schedule, it could very well pose an issue for competitive raiders. With the gated release of that content, it may very well be a really small time investment for a team that smashes normal mode on week one and starts killing heroic bosses the day they are available, but we'll have to see.
- Will it discourage people from making a transition to normal mode raiding and will normal mode guilds struggle to find people for that content?
If there is another difficulty mode that lets you see the content, but this time with a more social experience (not the LFR mess that might as well be you and 24 other NPCs), will people just not bother? Some people will for sure abandon normal mode in search of something even easier and more relaxing. But also, many newer players who will start off by doing Flex mode will be driven to normal mode if not for any other reason, because of the loot upgrades alone. Let's not forget that for the majority of WoW players, the biggest concern is "How do I get more powerful items for my character".
The same concern was voiced for LFR too, but people are still raiding normal and heroic modes just as much as they used to. Remember in TBC, when raiding was "hard" and inaccessible? Remember what most people did back then? They just didn't raid.
All in all, as long as Flex raiding does not provide additional strain to the hardcore players, I think this is a good system that, while it might not be used very much at all by me, will certainly contribute to the longevity of the game by introducing newer players more smoothly into organized raiding.
Flex raiding mode discussion
This will also help guilds who are just getting into raiding like mine. Had our guild switch servers so a majority went to a "new" guild who had 3-5 people on at most, and we have been trying to down the first boss in tot for a week now (1 night a week for 3 hours). It would be better than lfr since its mainly mechanics that wreck people, but it will also be a nice loot source to get into normals an heroic modes as well.