Now that the Siege of Orgrimmar has been out for a few weeks, we take a look at how people are using the different methods of raiding in World of Warcraft.

By now, most World of Warcraft players who are interested in raiding have dipped their toe into Siege of Orgrimmar in one way or another. The addition of Flexible raiding—and its separate tier of gear—saw a few raised eyebrows and a bit of speculation as to how it would pan out. Now that the dust has settled, it’s time to take a look at the different styles of raiding and how we use them.

LF a few brave souls to queue up for LFR SoO Wing 1

Looking For Raid has become somewhat of a necessary evil. On one hand, it is great that more casual players are able to experience a big portion of the content. On the other, OUCH. When a new wing of LFR comes out, the masses crowd in for the inevitable wipe fest.

Entire essays can be written about what is wrong with LFR, but how about we consider what is right with it? Players can dust off their alts and equip the welfare gear they received on the Timeless Isle and jump immediately into current, relevant content. Heading into Mogu’shan Vaults is no longer required in order to gear up and get into the Siege of Orgrimmar. Pro Tip: bring as many people in as you possibly can. Recruit from your guild, your battletag list and even in Trade Chat (yes, I said Trade Chat). As you gain stacks of Determination, you can feel like you are in this together.

LFM SoO Flex W2 Need All

Flexible raiding is the new hotness and it has servers erupting with invites. It is tooled to fit the size of your individual group. It is raiding for the People! But don’t be fooled: Flex is no joke. You must be in a group that is willing and able to communicate and pay attention to mechanics. This might be slightly easier than normal mode raiding, but if you try to faceroll it, you won’t be successful.

Flex is a great way to get some practice in on bosses and mechanics before you and your team try to tackle it in Normal mode. The gear is decent, and is actually a pretty good upgrade from your Thrown of Thunder sets.  You can use Flex to raid with friends who aren’t on your regular team or to group up with peopled you’ve never hung out with before. Go ahead and try it! Put aside a few hours, head into the chat of your choice and start recruiting strangers on your server. You might just meet someone cool. Pro Tip: although you can be successful using any number between 10-25 people, the sweet spots tend to be 14, 19 and 24.

LFM SoO N Fresh Run 1MDPS and GTG

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If you have a guild and you have a raid team, then Normal mode is the way to go. Sure you can head into LFR for Valor Points or maybe Flex when you can use a few gear upgrades or want to raid with your brother’s girlfriend on another server, but this is the way people have raided in World of Warcraft from the beginning and it is here to say. You have your crew of 10 or 25 people who show up at the same time every week with one thing in mind: downing bosses and getting phat lootz.

Normal mode takes a lot of extra effort to manage a team with the right mix of raid composition and attitude. This is where personalities clash and the gear upgrades mean something. Members are required to do their homework, gather materials for buff food, potions and raid flasks and show up on time ready to go. It’s a lot of work, but when that boss finally goes down… priceless. Pro Tip: figure out the values of your team and don’t compromise them.

LF1RDPS for H Immerseus Must have cloak and Garrosh cheeve

Ah, the Big Show, heroic mode raiding. This is for the recognition, for the glory. I bet you know the name of the guild that got the World First Heroic Garrosh Hellscream kill. You might even know who was second. Although most players won’t see heroic content until the next expansion is out, this is the raid difficulty that is talked about the most on websites and in forums. The Race to World First is kept up with by millions of World of Warcraft fans everywhere.

Another way to use Heroic mode is for something to do after you have “beaten the game.” Once your team downs the final boss, this is the next step to keep you occupied before we see what exactly The Dark Below is all about. Pro Tip: your Flex team full of PUGs you found on your server has time to raise themselves through the ranks and achieve what might be looked at as impossible. You got to start somewhere, right? 

  • Dularr

    Many of my guildies are taking a break from LFR, if you raided LFR/Normal ToT, almost all the gear is better than the Siege LFR gear.

    Loving Flex Raiding, got two flex raid goings, running between 14 to 17 players per raid.

    Then have my normal raid team.

    • Summer Walker

      I run an LFR group on Tuesday night… more as a service than anything. I’ve been running Flex as often as I can. My raid team wants me to run Flex with them, but I use it as an opportunity to raid with folks I usually don’t get to hang out with.

      • Dularr

        I’m recommending flex raid for that as well. My Tuesday night flex raid has ~10 guild raiders and 7+ friends from another guild. A good time is had by all.

        But, I do understand the challenges right now. While returning players can gear up on the Timeless Isle, they still have a lot of work to do before they can Flex raid. Anyone that only casually persuade ToT LFR (casual LFR, interesting juxtaposition) might only have slightly about 500 ilevel, so they are not ready for Flex raiding.

  • missbegotten

    On my server, there have been no LF-Flex messages in chat. Most, if not all, guilds have closed their doors and are raiding with the peeps onhand. I have toons on both sides, and its the same. Could try to jump servers, but there is no guarantee things will be different. I have a lock that got several Burden drops in the first two weeks, got her 528 staff the first time out in LFR, and is like 531. But her guild has died and with no others to run with is effectively doing achievements.

    Yeah, LFR is terribad. Getting past any boss without a minimum of 3 Determination is not possible. People still do not read up on what they are supposed to do, and tanks are clueless. At this rate, will finish my Golem mount on my engineer, and unsub. I am glad others are enjoying the content and the new flex stuff, but there are many others that are still stuck with LFR as an only, if not painful and expensive, due to repairs, option of seeing SoO.

    • Joseph Spears

      that is very far from the truth my friend. get OQ and never be in need of a guild again. Not to mention there are still plenty of guild recruiting and LFr is not as bad as folks say, its when you LFR and make sure to at least do first wing its stupid easy.

      • Thomas Aguiar

        While I myself have resorted to OQ to get some raiding done on alts and RGBs there is a deeper problem: The need for the program to find a group is a clear indication that realm community is all but forgotten.

    • Dularr

      There are some servers out there that took a real hit from the half-priced server transfers. I know a lot of people that transferred characters to the high population servers. If you get a chance trying grouping with someone from a high pop server and try out their realm. It’s crazy busy there.

      I know a few raid teams that hit the wall Throne of Thunder, a couple of early raid bosses really punished raid teams that had difficulty with mechanics and individual requirements.

      Flex raid, one of the points about flex raid is you bring your friends. So, there is no longer a need to post in trade chat looking for a few members to fill out a group. You arrange for two tanks, three/four healers and then load it up with as many dps friends that are online. It also helps that Flex raiding is fun, so getting acquaintances to run is not a problem.

      Battletags, I know some people shy away giving out their Real ID. Give out your Battletag instead. Find the people that want to raid and give them your Battletag. Battletags announcements have also replaced trade chat for looking for group.

      I do have to recommend oQueue (OQ), I have a few guidlies that can only play during the mornings. They are running Ordos, the Celestrials and Siege Flex raids, all cross realm, with really good groups. They are really clearing bosses quickly and are making nice progression.

      The challenge with oQueue is you really need to be geared (at least 525 ilevel) and a good player. So your friend has several options, install oQueue and work the groups, transfer servers or work on her battletag firends. One thing oQueue is not, its not about being carried.

      So, the key is to find the players out there who are running highly successful flex raids and send them a Battletag friend request. Also, group up your friends and guildies. A friend in another guild had 7 raiders that wanted to raid, so they teamed up with our core members and ran a 17-man Siege Flex raid.

      Good luck. Hope you can find a good flex raid team. They are a lot of fun.

      • missbegotten

        Nice to see optimism… but alas, reality tends to thwart that mentality… or maybe its my reality, and if so, then I am still counting the days until the end of October.

        Tried to group with someone from another realm and go into a raid, but it wouldn’t let us since we were from different realms. Not sure if that was a glitch. Besides, my friends on other realms have guilds that don’t do anything much anyway.

        The legendary quest has always been elusive to my toons. My lock is currently trying to get the 20 doodads from Throne, but the groups going in there on lfr are total fail. Also, out of about a dozen bosses, I’ve got 4 of the doodads. So, I should have the 20 in about 5 or 6 weeks, then have to do the rest of the steps as well. Unfortunately, that will be long past the time I have left.

        Nice comments, and I thank you for your optimism, but I have found that it is more difficult than you make it sound.

        For the comment below, yes, LFR is that bad, and again, without 3 or more stacks of determination, doing the 3rd and 4th bosses in wing 1 is not gonna happen.

        • Dularr

          Not optimism. Just suggestions about what some raiders are doing on low pop servers. Just recounting what some players are actually doing.

          Ah, the Legendary questline. Your drop rates sound just about right. Where I find many players get stuck is the parts between collecting tokens. They put off “change of command” or running the two BGs. They sit on the “in between” parts for weeks or months at a time and then complain about the drop rates for tokens.

  • Theyrealone

    I am LFRing, haven’t yet bothered looking into Flexing… i might be looking to flex later this patch.

    • Dularr

      Try out oQueue at some point. Uses it the same way as LFR, check oQueue and see if anyone is putting together a Flex group.