With the introduction of flexible raiding a certain conversation is cropping up again. It’s a conversation about raid lockouts. Back when LFR was first introduced during Dragon Soul, quite a few players began to argue that they felt forced to run LFR in addition to the raid itself. Then, as we moved into Mists of Pandaria raiding, this discussion intensified. I had my own opinion on the issue, which was basically that no, raid finder should not share a lockout with normal mode raiding. Luckily, Blizzard didn’t do that, coming up with other ways to reduce LFR’s desirability for people who run normal/heroic raids.
Now, with flexible raiding, the argument that it should share a lockout with normal/heroic raids is being resurrected because again players are afraid they will be forced to run it. I’m opposed to this idea for a variety of reasons.
- Sharing the lockout between flexible raiding and normal/heroic raiding means that if you choose to step down to flex for a night because you were short people, you’ll either be locked into flex or you’ll need to be able to switch back and forth between them. Either players will be punished for going flex, or they’ll be using it to bypass encounters that are ‘too hard’ on normal. This isn’t meant to be a means to game raid difficulty.
- Sharing the lockout between 10 and 25 man raiding nearly killed 25 man raiding. A shared lockout between flexible raiding and normal raids would probably be enough to finish the job, because as 25 man guilds lost members and made use of the flexible raid to keep running, there would be very little incentive to recruit and less incentive for new players to join.
- Flex raiding is being rolled out to test the waters – we have no idea how the final implementation will shake out. Burdening it with a shared lockout adds a further complication which isn’t needed at this time. For all we know, flexible raiding will be how all raids work in the next expansion. Even if it isn’t, we need to give it time before we make it jump through more hoops.
- People need to stop begging Blizzard to keep them from playing the game.
Number five is probably the most controversial point, and it’s also the most important to my eyes. I don’t know where certain players came up with this idea that Blizzard needs to save them from doing things but it needs to stop. If you’re not in a guild that’s pushing content in the first week or two of its existence, you will not need to run flexible raids for gear to push that content faster any more than you need to run LFR for that.