We ran the fourth wing of flex on Saturday night, and I ended up having a blast. I grabbed a few PUGs at the beginning, but most of them left. We ended up with fourteen of us – all friends except for a single PUG. It was a lot more fun than joining a flex group of people I don’t know. Of course, it has its drawback; if you want to play with friends, you have to coordinate a time. I suppose that’s a big trade-off in WoW all the time. One of our hunters got the heirloom from Garrosh, and our undergeared players all got some loot from the wing. I wouldn’t mind doing this more in the future.
I’ve been complaining a bit because I couldn’t manage to down Garrosh in flex. In fact, most groups couldn’t get past the first boss of Downfall. On Friday I listed myself for Downfall and got invited to a group just for Garrosh. It was super simple, and everything went extremely smoothly. It was a lot easier than most LFR groups even! Anyways, I’m happy to have completed flex.
I spent another three to four hours doing flex the other night. I’m attempting to get a Garrosh kill. On this particular night, I was never able to kill the first boss of flex 4. People wouldn’t know what to do, and that would cause other people to quit. We’d wipe and wipe and then fall apart. After four groups, I gave up for the evening.
It was very frustrating. I dislike LFR because it’s boring, but I dislike flex because if other people are bad, you’re just wasting your time completely. If I could just kill him once in flex, I’d leave him be!
The Fallen Protectors went down again! It took us seven attempts, which isn’t too bad at all. The fight itself wasn’t too interesting, but I definitely like the idea of fighting sha-corrupted, fallen heroes.
I’m sure you really wanted to see us do it, and now you can! We did some attempts on Norushen – 10 it looks like if each of these Fraps videos is a full attempt – but we weren’t able to finish it.
I also completed the first flex wing, Vale of Eternal Sorrows. It was interesting. Yes, it was easier than normal, but we still had to pay attention to mechanics. I think I liked the difficulty. What really sets it apart though is requiring it to be pre-formed. I bet people would do their jobs better in LFR if you had to form your own group as well! I was a little stressed out joining a PUG because you never know what you’ll get. I guess it was kind of silly. Regardless, it went well, and I particularly enjoyed seeing the Sha of Pride. That’s a really cool boss to include. Afterwards you get some dialog between Jaina Proudmoore and Lor’themar Theron that I enjoyed.
Raid Lockouts and “Free Loot,” Balkoth, Balkoth’s Word, 8/25/13.
Balkoth discusses an idea he got from Theck at Flex Capacitor (who got it from someone named Thels). What if you got your shot at LFR loot (and/or Flex) when you downed a boss in normal or heroic if you hadn’t done that boss in LFR that week (or Flex)? Raiders would still be encouraged to step up in difficulty but no longer down. Great idea. I’m so mad at Blizzard for not doing something like this already.
Low level dungeon and raid scaling technology complete, Olivia Grace, WoW Insider, 8/28/13.
Tom Chilton revealed that Blizzard has finished the technology to up-scale dungeons and raids. They’ve yet to find a reward scheme that they liked for it.
World of Warcraft Trading Card Game closes its doors, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 8/26/13.
This makes me a sad
Player sweeps all three Stranglethorn Fishing winning spots in one day, Lisa Poisso, WoW INsider, 8/28/13.
How could someone come in first, second, and third? Amazing.
Warcraft and its “Joker Problem,” Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 8/28/13.
We keep killing our good enemies.
The Queue: No Hearthstone Day, Michael Sacco, WoW Insider, 8/23/13.
The answer to the last question has information that’s good to keep in mind – the ilvls for Siege of Orgrimmar. Raid Finder: 528,. Flex: 540. Flex Hellscream Weapons: 548. Normal: 553. Normal Warforged / Ordos: 559. Normal Hellscream Weapons: 561. Heroic: 566. Heroic Warforged: 572. Heroic Hellscream Weapons: 574.
Know Your Lore: The life and legacy of Lei Shen, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 8/25/13.
Care to know more about the guy you just killed?
Item Squish extremely likely for WoW’s next expansion, Olivia Grace, WoW Insider, 8/24/13.
I think we all knew this was coming.
What If Paladins Had Stayed Alliance-Only?, Rohan, Blessing of Kings, 8/19/13.
I love this. The Alliance story was the story of their paladins. What if paladins had stayed Alliance-only and shaman had stayed Horde-only? What if Death Knights had been given to the Horde, and monks to the Alliance? It’s an interesting article.
Thoughts on Garrosh Hellscream, Rohan, Blessing of Kings, 8/14/13.
Why do the orcs want to kill Garrosh? Why do players hate Garrosh but like Sylvanas? Rohan thinks that in lore, the orcs in general aren’t turning on Garrosh. As players, we like Sylvanas because she’s “all cool and calculating” while Garrosh “is a thug.” Players are more likely to identify with Sylvanas.
Window Shopper, Prinnie Powah, That Was an Accident!, 8/14/13.
Be careful with whom you /flirt.
Patch 5.4, flexible raids, dailies and more with Tom Chilton, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 8/16/13.
Chilton’s discussion of the Timeless Isle and Blizzard’s pull away from dailies are particularly interesting.
Patch 5.4 confirmed for release on September 10th, Adam Holisky, WoW Insider, 8/21/13.
I’m glad we have a little more time to Ahead of the Curve: Lei Shen for raid team members who missed our kill.
Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The Dark Below, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 8/18/13.
Speculation on what The Dark Below could bring.
Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls Lore Speculation, Neinball, BlizzPro, 8/14/13.
Reaper of Souls Lore Speculation Part 2: The Usual Suspects, Neinball, BlizzPro, 8/16/13.
Reaper of Soul [sic] Lore Speculation Part Three: Eternities of Conflict, Neinball, BlizzPro, 8/19/13.
Reaper of Souls Lore Speculation Part Four: Oh, The Places We’ll Go, Neinball, BlizzPro, 8/20/13.
Reaper of Souls might have been unveiled, but I still think these speculation articles are great.
Diablo III Expansion Speculation, Rohan, Blessing of Kings, 8/15/13.
Rohan’s wish list includes paladins, necromancers (or maybe druids), a no-trade, no-AH mode, and the ability for hardcore characters to become normal characters upon death. I think the no-trade, no-AH mode would be nice, although Blizzard would never do it, and the hardcore change would be great.
What If: Cult of the Mechanical, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 8/15/13.
Rossi explains how awesome it would be if we had an expansion focused on Gelbin Mekkatorque embracing technology and shunning the divine.
Old Enemies: OOC Epilogue, Anna, Too Many Annas, 8/15/13.
Even if you haven’t been reading this story, this is an interesting article about “assumed RP.” I didn’t really know anything about this, but it was a fascinating read.
Will we see an ability purge?, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 8/14/13.
If we’re going to continue to get new abilities every expansion, an ability purge seems important to me.
This epic crafted Frostsaber has ridden off with our hearts, Elizabeth Harper, WoW Insider, 8/15/13.
This is so cute!
Diablo 3 to get new features, fore free, in pre-expansion patch, Adam Holisky, WoW Insider, 8/22/13.
No surprise here. Changes to the core mechanics will happen even if you don’t purchase Reaper of Souls.
WoW Archivist: WoW’s first legendary quest line, Scott Andrews, WoW Insider, 8/16/13.
A retrospective on the first legendary quest line, the series to obtain Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker.
Know Your Lore: A Precarious Position Part 1 – Horde, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 8/14/13.
What will happen to the Horde after the Siege of Orgimmar?
Not much caught my eye this past week.
Know Your Lore: The rise of the Dark Shaman, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 6/23/13.
From where did the Dark Shaman originate?
Why Flex Raiding will change everything, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 6/21/13.
Rossi believes Flex Raids will replace 10-man and 25-man raiding in future expansions.
A Disconnect on F2P, Rohan, Blessing of Kings, 6/17/13.
An observation on the disconnect between how players view revenue earnings in a F2P game and how the developer views revenue earnings.
Do I Really Need to Run 3 Raids a Week, Matticus, World of Matticus, 6/12/13.
How will Flex Raids change things?
Chicken Fried Ji-Kun, arvash, The Crimson Hammer, 6/20/13.
It’s always the last pull of the night.
Patch 5.4 PTR: How to get Golden Lotus reputation in 5.4, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 6/17/13.
Lore Updates: Characters Page, Warcraft Timeline, Blizzard Entertainment, us.battle.net, 6/14/13 via Lore updates for the official World of Warcraft site, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 6/17/13.
The official site has been updating, including lore on the current and last patch. I love that they divide the story into chapters with short summaries, and it’s great to see Blizzard keeping it up to date.
Fearsome paladin collective crusades for the Light, Lisa Poisso, WoW Insider, 6/13/13.
The Caelestis Templares is an RP guild of fanatical paladins, sort of like the Scarlet Crusade. It sounds like a fun idea.
When Rohan at Blessing of Kings posted about variable group sizes in WoW, I thought it was a great idea that would likely never be implemented. I was wrong.
Blizzard just announced Flexible Raids. Flexible Raids is a new raid difficulty for 10-25 players. Loot works like LFR, and you can participate cross-realm, but there is no matchmaking service. The difficulty scales with the number of people in the group, and item level of gear will be between LFR and normal mode. In addition, Flexible Raids are on their own lockout.
What does this mean?
You’re no longer obligated to run either 10-man or 25-man raids. Guilds now have the flexibility to run with however many people they want.
Except that’s not quite true.
Let’s say a 25-man guild doesn’t have enough people to raid on a particular raid night. Yes, they could run a Flexible Raid. However, would it be better to run the flex as a whole group or send 10 people into normal mode where they’ll get better gear? Maybe it has to do with how many people are available. If there’s between 20 and 25, maybe they should try to run two normal modes. I don’t know; I’m not in a 25-man guild.
What about 10-man guilds? There are two scenarios to consider. First, what if there aren’t enough people to raid? Well, if we’re under 10 people, the Flexible Raid isn’t going to help. If we have more than 10 people, why would we want to get worse gear? Wouldn’t we rather the 10 more regular raiders have a chance at better gear in normal mode?
I think this is going to become another obligation. Blizzard says I’m not obligated to run LFR, but I still need a lot of gear from it even though I’m in a 10-man guild. While I don’t always do LFR, I try to run it every week. If the flex raid is going to drop better gear, shouldn’t I be doing it too? I suppose this could bond a different set of people. If 10 core guild raiders were online and wanted to raid, we could raid normal. If I wanted to do LFR, I could just queue. The flex raid would give me a reason to make friends with a wider community. Right now, I don’t interact with WoW players outside of my guild very often. There have been guilds in the past that PUG’d me regularly, but currently I’m not in touch with anyone. With flex raids feeling required but lacking a matchmaking service, I could see reaching out to other bloggers, for example, to add Battletag friends. But I have to be honest. Most weeks I don’t valor cap or complete LFR. What makes me think I have time to schedule a flex raid?
This seems really odd to me. I’d be ecstatic if they had followed Rohan’s idea of 7 to 13 people. Blizzard’s implementation won’t really help my guild and will likely feel like a burden I can’t fulfill. It’s an interesting first iteration of the scaling feature regardless. Even if I don’t have time to schedule anything, maybe a guildie will occasionally ask me to join a flex raid, but I don’t see it happening lately. It’s hard to judge a feature without experiencing it, but it seems to me that Blizzard took an interesting idea and executed it poorly.