The final raid tier for Mists of Pandaria, 5.4 – The Siege of Orgrimmar – is getting closer and with it will come a new raiding tier – Flex Raids. Personally, as someone who is too time constrained/antisocial to raid in a guild any longer this new system will add a lot of value compared to the slog that is LFR. So what are Flex raids and who are they aimed at?
Flex Raids will provide a higher level of challenge than LFR, but less challenge than normal modes. They’ve been likened to the difficulty of Wrath of the Lich King 10 man raids, which I enjoyed back in the day. They will require you to form a raid so they won’t have the anonymous feeling of LFR groups and will hopefully maintain a higher quality and encourage civil interaction among the participants. You can form them with cross realm groups so I would expect them to become a big deal on OpenRaid – that’s how I’m planning to get into them.
The really neat part of Flex Raids is that they can be anything from 10-25 players. Boss health and damage will be scaled directly to the number of players you have in your group. So if you have 13 friends who want to go raiding together you can do it and not have to force anyone to sit out. Loot will be done the same way as LFR with per-player loot dropping and bonus rolls with whatever token is introduced in 5.4.
Considering the way that LFR degrades as progression players stop doing it for fill-in items you often find at the end of a raid tier LFR is nearly impossible to do without witnessing huge amounts of name calling, griefing, or players not fulfilling the role they queued for. Hopefully Flex Raiding, which will have to be managed through Forum groups or a 3rd party service like OpenRaid, will attract a higher level of competence and decorum while giving casual players a good challenge and better rewards.